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US anti-doping boss: Ban Russians from all Rio sports

Denis Kudryavtsev of Russia competes Men's 400m hurdles at the Meteor Stadium, Zhukovsky, Russia, July 21, 2016. ― Reuters pic
Denis Kudryavtsev of Russia competes Men's 400m hurdles at the Meteor Stadium, Zhukovsky, Russia, July 21, 2016. ― Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, July 22 ― America's anti-doping leader renewed the call to ban Russians across all sports from the Rio Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected an appeal yesterday by Russian athletics competitors.

Three days after an investigation report unveiled evidence of a state-run doping scheme in Russia, CAS rejected a Russian appeal of world athletics governing body IAAF's decision to ban all Russian track and field competitors from the Rio Games, which open August 5.

“It's a sad situation for everyone who loves sport, especially those Russian athletes who were abused and harmed by their leader's actions ― but it's the right outcome,” US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement.

The decision is seen as an indicator to how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) might vote Sunday when its executive board conducts more talks on whether to bar more Russians from competing at Rio, while leaving open an avenue allowing those who can show they are clean to compete.

“We hope ... the IOC will now follow the path this decision has paved and restore faith in the Olympic values by exercising its authority to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee while allowing for a process by which individual Russian athletes can compete if they can prove they are truly clean,” Tygart said.

Weighing their responsibility to those who have not tested positive against the potential far-reaching dope cheating range of a state-backed scheme is the problem facing the IOC as it tries to ensure clean athletes a fair Olympic playing field.

Paul Melia, president of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, said earlier this week that if WADA uncovered state-backed doping, the IOC would have “no choice but to ban all Russian athletes from this summer's Olympic Summer Games in Rio,” and called it “a defining moment in international sport.” ― AFP

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