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Olympic Court Bans All 68 Russian Track And Field Athletes

July 21, 2016

The ‘Court of Arbitration For Sport’ announced on Thursday that it will uphold the ban preventing all Russian Track and Field athletes from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympic games.  68 athletes challenged a ban from the track federation.

The ban was upheld under the premise that any athlete whose national federation is suspended is ineligible under International Association of Athletics Federations regulations from participating in the games. The Russian federation has been suspended due to the Russian government’s attempt to cover up the systematic use of performance enhancing drug use among Russian Athletes during the 2014 Sochi games.

Russian athletes at the 2012 summer games.

Russian athletes at the 2012 summer games.

The world track and field’s governing body commented on the decision to uphold the ban. Stating that it legitimized the integrity of the competition and created more parity in the games. The stated:

“Today’s judgment has created a level playing field for athletes,”

The ban has been up-held for now but there is still a chance Russian athletes could participate in the games. The International Olympic Committee makes a final decision on whether or not athletes will be allowed to participate in the games. The IOC may allow the black-listed athletes to make individual appeals. If the athlete can prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that they were not involved in the doping scandal they may be allowed to participate. They must also provide legitimate documents proving their anti-doping history.

Yulia Stepanova, an 800-meter runner and key whistleblower in exposing Russian doping, and Florida-based Russian long jumper Darya Klishina are the only two athletes that have been granted eligibility based on individual appeals. The two athletes will not compete under the Russian flag, they will represent compete as “neutral athletes.”

Individuals wishing to participate in the games will have less than one month to submit their case to the IOC and receive a decision. Russian athletes have remained in the Olympic village and will continue to train until the are explicitly told they will not be competing.