CAS upholds Rio Olympics ban on Russian track and field athletes

| Updated: Jul 21, 2016 22:28 IST

London, July 21 (ANI): The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday dismissed the appeal of 68 track and field Russian athletes over the ban imposed on them from participating in next month's Rio Olympics. The Russian athletes had earlier appealed before the CAS in their bid to overturn the ban imposed by the governing body of world athletics, the IAAF, over accusations of state-sponsored doping in the country. Welcoming the ruling, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said that the verdict had 'created a level playing field for athletes' and upheld their rights 'to use its rules for the protection of the sport', the Guardian reported. Coe, however, pledged that the IAAF taskforce would continue to work with Russia in order to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes and to eventually bring the country's federation and team back to international recognition and competition. Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had said that they would seek legal advice and wait until the CAS verdict before deciding whether to impose a blanket ban on all the Russian athletes. The verdict assumes significance as an independent WADA report declared that Russia orchestrated state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The report also said Russia's secret service and top sporting authorities conspired to cover up widespread doping, substituting doping-tainted samples with clean ones during the Winter Games in Russia. (ANI)