Russia Ban: CAS Judgment Creates Level Playing Field – IAAF | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Russia Ban: CAS Judgment Creates Level Playing Field – IAAF

Posted: Jul 22, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Peter Edema
Lagos (With Agency Reports) – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has described the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) banning of Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics as victory for clean athletes.
CAS has on Thursday rejected Russia’s appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from the Rio Olympics. CAS decision increases the possibility that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will now exclude Russia from all sports, not just track and field, in Rio de Janeiro.
“CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes,” CAS said in a statement that backed the right the IAAF to suspend the Russian athletics federation.
IAAF in a statement said that the judgement has created a level playing field for athletes, saying, “The CAS award upholds the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport, to protect clean athletes and support the credibility and integrity of competition.”
While the IAAF said it was pleased that CAS had supported its stance, it however regrets that athletes would not be allowed to run in Rio.
“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,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said. “I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.”
Coe promised that beyond the 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.”
A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry called CAS decision “a crime against sport”.
With its decision, the court was “absolutely violating the rights of clean athletes, creating a precedent of collective responsibility”, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in comments televised on state channels.
Double Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva called the decision “the funeral of athletics”.
“Now let all these foreign pseudo-clean sports people sigh with relief and win their pseudo-gold medals in our absence,” Isinbayeva wrote on Instagram. “They have always feared (our) strength.”
The ban on Russia’s track-and-field team going to Rio was imposed last November by the IAAF after an independent report uncovered rampant state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics. It was maintained in June after the IAAF Council ruled that not enough progress had been made in transforming Russia’s anti-doping programme.
Russia had argued it had taken steps to clean up the sport, and that the blanket ban was unfair to individual athletes with no record of doping.