Russia Banned from Rio Olympics

IOC bans Russia from track and field after extensive state-sponsored doping reveal

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Women’s Curling Team at the 2014 Winter Olympics

A recent investigation revealed Russian state-sponsored doping of athletes, prompting the World-Anti Doping Agency to call for a ban on Russia attending the Rio Olympic Games.

68 Russian athletes appealed against the ban, including two time Olympic gold medallist Yelena Isinbayeva and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

After emergency talks within the International Olympic Committee, a decision was made to ban Russia from participating in the track and field events.

However they may extend this to all events following a second report.

Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinting favourite, said “it’s sad but rules are rules. Doping violations in track and field is getting really bad.

“If you cheat or go or against the rules, this will scare a lot of people.”

Isinbayeva has called the ban a “blatant political order” adding “thank you for this funeral for athletics.” In a similar vein, the Russian Foreign Ministry has termed it a “crime against sport.”

But hope still remains for Russia as CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, has said some athletes could still compete as neutrals providing they meet a list of conditions which include being tested outside of Russia for any doping.

The President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lord Coe, said “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.”

The decision to ban Russia was made by three CAS lawyers and chairman Luigi Fumagalli. Fumagalli had previously sat on the panel regarding Fifa’s 4 month ban on Luis Suárez for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup.

A second report which the IOC is currently looking into reveals senior figures in Russia’s sport ministry may have been involved in the doping scheme, even suggesting the Russian Secret Service had been swapping positive urine samples for clean samples.

Given this new information, the IOC is to hold another emergency meeting on Sunday to decide whether to ban all Russian athletes from the games.

The Olympics are set to start in just under 2 weeks, commencing August 5th.

 

 

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