Ban upheld for Russian track and field athletes at Olympic Games

The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal

russia, olympics, track and field, rio de janeiro, 2016

Picture by: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Russia's track and field athletes will not be allowed compete at the 2016 Olympic Games, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the Russian appeal.

Last November, the IAAF suspended the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) from IAAF membership. The suspension was confirmed on two further occasions, the most recent coming last month as Russian athletes tried to have the ban overturned.

In a statement released by CAS on Thursday morning, they confirmed that the IAAF ban is valid, meaning to Russian track and field athletes will be allowed compete in Brazil under their national flag.

"The CAS Panel confirmed that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is not entitled to nominate Russian track and field athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games considering that they are not eligible to participate under the IAAF competition rules, in accordance with the Olympic Charter."

While the CAS have not given the reasons for not overturning the ban, they have confirmed the decision is "unanimous".

A small amount of Russian athletes may still compete in Rio, but in neutral colours, if they pass stringent tests. Yuliya Stepanova has already competed at the European Athletics Championships in neutral colours and may yet compete at the Olympics Games in the 800 metres if she recovers from a foot injury. 

The track and field competition is due to begin in Brazil on August 12th. Russia won 16 of their 79 Olympic medals in athletics in London four years ago.