A Russian appeal against the country's ban from the Olympic Games track and field athletic events for widespread doping has been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
“CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes,” CAS said in a statement.
Russia Sports Minister regrets court ruling
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he regretted that the Court of Arbitration in Sport rejected the legal challenge by a group of Russian athletes against the ban, Interfax news agency reported.
“I regret this decision,” the agency quoted Mr. Mutko as saying. “Unfortunately, a certain precedent has been established for collective responsibility,” for doping violations by individual sportspeople.
Mr. Mutko said Russian officials will consider what steps are needed to be taken in the light of the court's decision, and that things could not be left as they are, Interfax reported.
'We did everything possible to ensure Rio place'
Meanwhile, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the head of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), said his organisation had done everything it could to ensure Russian athletes were able to compete at the Rio Olympics, the R-Sport news agency cited him as saying.
He was speaking after the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland said it had rejected Russia's appeal against the exclusion of its track and field athletes from the Rio Games starting on Aug. 5.
'Funeral of athletics'
Olympic pole vault champion Elena Isinbayeva said the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport amounted to a “funeral of athletics”, TASS news agency reported.