CAS To Expedite Decision On Russian Athletes' Appeal Of Ban From Rio
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said that "it will decide whether to overturn the ban against Russia's athletics programme by July 21, two weeks before the start of the Rio Games," according to Ben Simon of the AFP. The IAAF "banned Russia's entire track and field federation following revelations of massive, state-sponsored doping." The suspension "first announced in November was maintained last month." But the announcement from CAS "offers yet another last chance for Russia's disgraced track and field programme." An IAAF statement said that the Russian Olympic Committee, the IAAF and 68 Russia athletes have reached "a specific arbitration agreement" which lets CAS decide on the validity of the IAAF ban. The statement added, "The parties have agreed to an expedited procedure which should conclude on 21 July 2016" (AFP, 7/4).
UNFAIR PUNISHMENT: REUTERS' Mitch Phillips reported the athletes said that "they are being punished despite not failing drugs tests and that they should be eligible to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics." The ban was first put in place last November and "confirmed last month." The IOC said that "it was the IAAF's right to make the decision and would not over-rule it." However, many Russia-based athletes "are furious that they are being punished for what they consider to be the sins of others." Should CAS "rule in favour of the athletes there would then be a further issue to resolve as the IOC's current deadline for athletes to achieve the qualification criteria -- July 11 -- would have passed" (REUTERS, 7/4). The AP reported the appeal "focuses on a challenge to the rule that athletes cannot compete internationally if their national track and field federation is suspended, as Russia's is." It does not "seek to overturn the suspension of Russia's federation." CAS said that the appeal seeks to secure Olympic participation for "any Russian athlete who is not currently the subject of any period of ineligibility for the commission of an anti-doping rule violation" (AP, 7/4).