Russian athletes lose doping appeal
- Russia’s sports minister calls for disbanding world’s athletics governing body
(CNN) Russia has reacted with fury after its quest to have a ban on its track and field athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games overturned ended in dramatic failure.
The Court for the Arbitration of Sport rejected the appeal made by the Russian Olympic Committee and 67 athletes Thursday, a decision that has led to the country’s sports minister calling for the disbanding of the world’s athletics governing body.
Russia was suspended from track and field events by the International Association of Athletics Federations — known as the IAAF — back in November 2015.
Russian pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva was one of those appealing the decision.
“It’s time to disband the IAAF,” said Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Twitter, who also tweeted ‘”Corrupt judges! How can you deprive clean sportsmen of their dream, and what’s more WADA didn’t present either facts or evidence.”
Yelena Isinbayeva — a two-time Olympic pole vault champion, has called on the IOC to have the final say after labeling the verdict as “purely political.”
“Thank you everyone for the funeral of athletics,” she said.
The IAAF suspension last year came after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report which uncovered a culture of state-sponsored doping.
“Today’s judgment has created a level playing field for athletes,” said the IAAF in a statement Thursday.
“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.”
“I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude.
“Beyond 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.”