Russia will remain banned from track and field events at this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics following claims the country ran a state-sponsored doping program.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 Russian athletes attempted to overturn the suspension, implemented by the IAAF.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled the suspension can stand.
A handful of Russian athletes could still compete as neutrals at the Rio Games, which start on August 5.
“It’s sad but rules are rules,” said Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt, who will be chasing more gold medals in Rio.
Usain Bolt said it was important to send a strong message to the dopers.
Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva – one of the 68 to appeal to CAS – said the ruling was “a blatant political order”.
The 2012 gold medalist, 34, told the Tass news agency: “Thank you all for this funeral for athletics.”
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was “pleased CAS has supported its position”, adding that the judgement had “created a level playing field for athletes”.
IAAF president Lord Coe added: “This is not a day for triumphant statements. I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing.
“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.”
Separately, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering calls to ban all Russian competitors across all sports from the Rio Games following a second report into state-sponsored doping.
Some Russian athletes could compete in Rio as neutrals if they meet a number of criteria, including being repeatedly tested outside their homeland.
At least two – 800m runner and doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova and US-based long jumper Darya Klishina – have gone down that path.
Now the CAS ruling has cleared the way for more to follow.
CAS said the ROC could still nominate athletes to compete as neutrals. However, there appears to be little time for athletes to comply with the criteria.
Russia was suspended from track and field events by the IAAF in November 2015 following the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that showed a culture of widespread, state-sponsored doping.
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko apologized for Russia’s failure to catch the cheats but stopped short of admitting the scandal had been state-sponsored.
However, another WADA-commissioned report delivered earlier this week – the McLaren report – contained more damaging allegations and suggested senior figures in Russia’s sports ministry were complicit in an organized cover-up.
The report implicated the majority of Olympic sports in the cover-up and claimed that Russian secret service agents were involved in swapping positive urine samples for clean ones.
Following July 18 publication of the McLaren report, the IOC faced calls to ban all Russian competitors from the 2016 Olympics and will hold an second emergency meeting on July 24 to decide its course of action.
The Russian authorities have already suggested that they will look at ways to continue legal action.
Following the ruling, sports minister Vitaly Mutko said CAS had set “a certain precedent” by punishing a collective group for doping offences by individuals.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The principle of collective responsibility cannot be acceptable. The news is not very good.”
The Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has provisionally suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as an IAAF Member for its alleged involvement in widespread doping.
The decision was taken at the 201st IAAF Council Meeting which was held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF President Sebastian Coe on November 13.
Russia has been also suspended from international competition, including the Olympic Games.
The IAAF took action after the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that alleged “state-sponsored doping”.
Its council members voted 22-1 in favor of Russia being banned.
“This is a wake-up call for all of us,” said IAAF president Sebastian Coe.
Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the suspension was “temporary” and the “problem is solvable”.
A total of 24 Members of Council took part in the meeting: 22 voted in favor of the sanction against ARAF, who have been officially informed of the Council’s decision, 1 voted against. The Council Member from Russia was not eligible to participate in the vote.
Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation into claims Russia’s athletes have been part of a systematic doping program.
The Russian president was speaking for the first time since a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent report recommended Russia be banned from athletics competition.
Vladimir Putin said athletes should be punished individually, rather than collectively.
“Sportsmen who don’t dope – and never have – must not answer for those who break the rules,” he said.
“If we find that someone must be held responsible for something of the sort that breaks the rules in place against doping, then the responsibility must be personalized – that’s the rule.”
Vladimir Putin also said he wanted “professional co-operation” with anti-doping bodies.
“The battle must be open,” he said.
“A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest.”
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko had earlier said the UK’s anti-doping system had “zero value” and was “even worse” than Russia’s.
That accusation was rejected by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Vladimir Putin spoke only about the issues affecting Russia, saying someone must take responsibility should problems be found.
“I ask the minister of sport and all our colleagues who are linked in one way or another with sport to pay this issue the greatest possible attention,” he said, before a meeting sports officials in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“It is essential that we conduct our own internal investigation and – I want to underline – provide the most open professional co-operation with international anti-doping structures.”
Sebastian Coe, president of athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, has told the Russian athletics federation to respond to WADA’s report by November 13.
The report’s author, Dick Pound, recommended Russian athletes be suspended from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on November 11 his organization had “no authority” to take such action, and the matter was solely for the IAAF to deal with.
Thomas Bach also said the IOC would continue to apply a zero-tolerance policy to doping, and that Olympic medals would be withdrawn from any Russian athlete named in the WADA report who is found guilty of doping.
Eugene, Oregon, has been awarded the 2021 World Athletics Championships without a bidding process.
The sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) bypassed the normal bidding process saying it was “a unique strategic opportunity” to hold the event in the United States for the first time.
IAAF chief Lamine Diack said the decision was taken “in the interest of the global development of our sport”.
Eugene missed out on the 2019 event.
Doha in Qatar was awarded that championships, but a recent presentation to the IAAF persuaded the governing body that the American city has what it takes to stage a major event.
Lamine Diack added: “In granting the championships to Eugene the IAAF Council have made a clear choice on a strategic decision that enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again.
“It will see public authorities, the private sector, the national Olympic Committee, NBC and a particularly enthusiastic public joining forces.”
The 2007 World Championships held in Osaka, Japan, was also awarded without a bidding process.
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