The ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday banning the Russian athletics team is seen as a key indicator as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) debates whether to order a blanket ban on the sporting powerhouse from the Games that starts on August 5. The IOC said it will study the CAS decision before a conference call on Sunday with its executive board.
The 67 athletes who will miss out include two time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva and world champion men’s 110m hurdler Sergey Shubenkov.
Originally, 68 Russians had appealed against the IAAF ban but the governing body has cleared US-based long jumper Darya Klishina to compete in Rio.
An IOC ethics commission is to rule on the case of Yuliya Stepanova, an 800m runner who turned whistleblower on the doping.
The IAAF welcomed the CAS tribunal ruling.
“Today’s judgement has created a level playing field for athletes,” said an IAAF statement.
“The CAS award upholds the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport (and) to protect clean athletes.”
IAAF president Sebastian Coe welcomed the ruling but said: “This is not a day for triumphant statements.
“I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing.
“It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.”
He said that after the Rio Games an IAAF task force “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 CAS ruling has been the focus of Olympic attention, however, since an independent WADA report this week said Russia ran a “state-dictated failsafe system” of drug cheating in 30 sports at the 2014 Sochi Games and other major events. IOC president Thomas Bach has called Russia’s actions a “shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games.”
Russia was the second most successful athletics nation at the 2012 London Olympics, behind the United States, with seven gold medals, four silver and five bronze. Originally, Russia had 17 medals.
But several have already been lost or are at risk because of doping failures.
Olympic 3,000 metre champion Yulia Zarapova has tested positive for anabolic steroids and will almost certainly be stripped of her gold medal.
Woman’s discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova, silver medallist in London, has been banned for 10 years because of drug failures.
The IOC has not yet reconfirmed the results of the 2012 London Olympics following the retesting of doping samples. — AFP