The Crisis in Russian Athletics


Womens5kStart-WorChps13.jpgMoscow 2013, 5000 meter start, photo by


LAUSANNE (SUI): The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decisions in the arbitrations between the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), a number of Russian athletes (the Claimant Athletes) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The CAS has dismissed both the request for arbitration filed by the ROC and 68 Claimant Athletes, and the appeal filed by 67 of the same athletes against the IAAF decision to consider them as ineligible for the Olympic Games in Rio. The arbitrations were referred to a Panel of CAS arbitrators: Prof. Luigi Fumagalli, Italy (President), Mr Jeffrey G. Benz, United States and His Honour James Robert Reid QC, United Kingdom. The Panel held a hearing with the parties on 19 July 2016. The CAS Panel has confirmed the validity of the IAAF's decision to apply Rules 22.1(a) and 22.1A of the IAAF Competition Rules, which state that athletes whose national federation is suspended by the IAAF are ineligible for competitions held under the IAAF Rules, in accordance with the Olympic Tribunal Arbitral du Sport Court of Arbitration for Sport. The release also states that the ROC is entitled to enter as representatives of the Russian Federation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the Russian track and field athletes who fulfil the criteria and are eligible to compete under IAAF Competition Rule 22.1A. Since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was not a party in the arbitrations, the CAS found that it had no jurisdiction to determine whether the IOC is entitled generally to accept or refuse the nomination by ROC of Russian track and field athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

MONACO (MON): The IAAF has taken a strong stance on upholding the World Anti-Doping Code without fear and favour and is pleased that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has supported its position. Today's judgement has created a level playing field for athletes. 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. Says IAAF in a statement. IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: "While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements. 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."

MELBOURNE (AUS): Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer, Phil Jones, has made the following comments in the wake of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to reject the appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes. "Athletics Australia welcomes the decision by CAS to uphold the IAAF ban on Russian athletes competing in athletics at the upcoming Olympic Games. It is a victory for clean sport and sends a powerful message to people and organisations that breach doping rules for their own benefit," Jones said.

MOSCOW (RUS): RusAF president Dmitriy Shlakhtin said that one more appeal for any court against CAS decision will have zero effect. "We have only one way, we should go further. We need to be restored and we'll do all possible to return trust from the IAAF and IOC," Shlyakhtin told Sport-express. He's sure that the expected IOC decision would not bring any differences but he expressed hopes that IOC will meet even some 'cleanest' athletes' halfway. Shlyakhtin also assured that Russian track and field athletes would not lose state and regional support to continue their trainings.

MOSCOW (RUS): The ruling of the CAS banning Russian track and field athletes from competing at next month's Olympics in Rio is directed against athletes, RusAF general secretary Mikhail Butov told reporters on Thursday. "The largest frustration is that lots of 'clean' athletes have been punished," Butov said. "The athletes who have never been implicated in doping, will stay aside from the Olympics. The decision is directed against the athletes."

MOSCOW (RUS): The Russian sports authorities intend to turn to the IAAF ethics as no probes of this organization's activity are held, informs Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko. "We recognize and respect the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This is a judicial body but the IAAF's behavior and persistence cause indignation. Corruption has been exposed in it... Our athletes and we intend to apply to the ethics committee [of the IAAF]," Mutko said.

MOSCOW (RUS): Official statement of Russian Olympic Committee says that ROC is utterly frustrated with the ruling of the CAS on the ROC lawsuit against the IAAF. "The most dangerous precedent has been created and since that the entire sporting community will live under new laws. We do not know where today's CAS ruling has stemmed from and what has motivated it, but the ROC is determined in its activities to fight for the rights of all clean athletes to the end at any international human rights organizations as we are absolutely convinced that personal responsibility cannot and must not include the innocent ones," the statement said.

MOSCOW (RUS): "I'm very sad and disappointed. Total apathy. I would like to fight to the end but I'm not sure there is any sense to do that. What I have to do? Is there any reason to continue my trainings? Maybe, it would be better to finish my career? I know and understand nothing now," said 110 m hurdles reigning World champion Sergey Shubenkov. He also noted that he would never change the citizenship just for ability to compete in Rio.

ZHUKOVSKIY (RUS): Gennadiy Gabrilyan, coach of reigning high jump World champion Mariya Kuchina, says that they were prepared to work for a miracle at coming Olympics. He assured that Kuchina was ready to clear 203 in Rio and to win her event. Her 200 at Russian Cup on Thursday is "our answer to the IAAF. They must know that in spite of circumstances we're alive, clean and ready to fight for medal at any competitions," said Gabrilyan on his quote to Sport-Express.

MOSCOW (RUS): Two-time pole vault Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva said that she'll not be surprised if RusAF would not be restored by the IAAF during next four years. She'll continue her practices until IOC decision on July 24. "Then there will not be any sense to train if we'll be also denied by IOC. CAS statement says that IOC can allow some athletes to compete in Rio. Firstly, I took these words as weak hope but now I don't believe it could happen. Everything I can do is to appeal to International Court of Human Rights individually but it would not have nothing with Olympics as it'll be too late," said Isinbayeva. She also noted that "who ever won in Rio, it'll be only second place" without her participation. "To win in Rio with new world record was my goal. I don't know how high it would be, but I think not less than 510," Isinbayeva added.

LONDON (GBR): Usain Bolt spoke about the decision to ban the Russian athletics team from the Rio Olympics, informs AP. "It's a good message to show that if you cheat or you go against the rules then we're going to take serious action. This will scare a lot of people, or send a strong message that the sport is serious, we want a clean sport," he said. Bolt added that he wouldn't be against the authorities banning other nations who are in breach of the rules. "If you have the proof and you catch somebody I definitely feel you should take action. And if you feel banning the whole team is the right action then I am all for it."

LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames informs that a letter from 14 National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) has been sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to urge them to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee and provisionally deny Russian athletes entry to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The NADOs of Austria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States have all signed the letter to IOC President Thomas Bach.

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