Russia Could Be Banned From Rio Olympics As CAS Upheld Ban On Russian Athletics

Russian Olympics suffered a big blow after sports’ highest tribunal, the Court of Arbitration of Sports, upheld the ban sanctioned after several members of Russia’s track and field team were tested positive in doping test about nine months ago.

According to the Reuters, the decision by CAS, which brought strong condemnation from Russia, increases the probability the entire Russia Olympic squad could be banned from this summer’s Olympics in Rio, not just the track and field team.

Russian Olympic sport, having such rich history, picked up a black mark following the doping scandal, which could make them unable to participate in the world’s greatest sporting fair, the Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration of Sports released a statement that advocated the action of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to ban Russian Athletes from the Rio Olympics in 2016, saying, “CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes”.

CAS upheld the penalty on the Russian Athletics Federation, allowing the right for concerned sports organizations to take necessary action on the other Russian teams, as reported by the New York Times.

russia flag and olympics logo [Photo by David J. Phillip/AP Images]The concrete proof of misdeeds by Russian Athletes, backed by the state, was revealed by the World Anti-Doping Agency this week, and thus the ban was upheld by the world’s leading dispute settler in sports.

A fresh ruling by CAS allows International Olympic Committee to pass the responsibility for the doping crisis on to the 28 individual Russian sports federations that want to join this summer’s Olympics. The Olympics officials are going to discuss the matter on Friday.

As reported by the New York Times, the case could proceed in one of the two ways; either the other individual Russian sports federations “to follow the IAAF’s lead and engage in a case-by-case review of Russian athletes” registered to compete in Rio. Or Russia could be absolutely banned from Rio Olympics 2016.

Following the verdict, the IAAF expressed its pleasure towards CAS in the matter. The president of IAAF Sebastian Coe said, “While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti-doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements.”

He added, “I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.”

“Beyond Rio, the IAAF taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.” he concluded.

russian athlete carrying russian flag A Russia Athlete carrying Russia flag [Photo by Anja Niedringhaus/AP Images]Unsurprisingly, the verdict has brought some serious condemnation from Russian sports personalities, officials, and even from a minister of Russia. Vitaly Mutko, the minister of sports in Russia, said in Moscow, “In my view, certainly, this decision absolutely violates the rights of clean athletes, honest athletes, and sets a collective responsibility precedent”.

Two time Olympic gold medal winner Yelena Isinbayeva also criticized the decision as “the funeral of athletics”.

“Now let all these foreign pseudo-clean sportspeople sigh with relief and win their pseudo-gold medals in our absence. They have always feared our strength.” the Russian posted on Instagram

Russia claims it has taken the necessary actions to clean up the mess and argues the total ban is unfair on those athletes who have no record of any misdeeds.

This issue is currently one of the hottest topics in Russia, and the Russian officials, along with the people, have suggested the doping issue is a conspiracy among Western governments concerned by the growing influence of Moscow.

As reported by the BBC, the verdict on the case was given by the jury consisting three lawyers from the Great Britain, Italy and the United States, who are amongst the most experienced lawyers in CAS.

[Photo by Matthias Schrader/AP Images]