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CHEBOKSARY, June 23. /TASS/. Russia’s track and fielders and the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) will file a class actions suit with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) next week against the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) not to admit the Russian national team to the 2016 Olympics, ARAF Secretary General Mikhail Butov told TASS on Thursday.
Members of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at a meeting with the management of the leading international sports federations within an Olympic summit on June 21 supported the IAAF decision not to admit the Russian track and field team to the 2016 Olympic Games. IOC President Thomas Bach said that "with regard to participation of track and field athletes from Russia - we still have to wait". "The individual decisions are still coming from IAAF. We will respect the decisions they are taking as a consequence with regard of the qualified athletes."
"A suit or suits will be submitted to CAS next week. It is also necessary to completely determine the legal direction, but we have generally formed a group of lawyers with whom we will work. I don’t known whether Mike Morgan of the UK will be among them, so far I’d rather not disclose the names. Class actions will be filed for certain, but some individual suits are also possible," Butov said.
"We are going to have consultations with these lawyers in the coming days. Then we will make the final decision," he said.
IOC recommended allowing the Russian athletes, including track and fielders, who will be evaluated individually for their eligibility to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil to compete under their national flag. The Olympic Games will be held in the period from August 5 to 21.
The International Association of Athletics Federations decided at its session in Vienna last Friday to keep in force the suspension of the membership of the all-Russian Athletics Federation in the global athletics body citing the Russian organization’s failure to implement the previously set requirements of the IAAF. The suspension means that Russian field and track athletes are currently ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
An exception will only be made for the athletes who will prove they are uninvolved in doping scandals. Following its executive committee, the summit of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday supported the IAAF’s decision.
Russian sport has been in the center of doping-related scandals since last year. Starting this year doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).
WADA’s Independent Commission published on November 9 last year the results of its probe into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA and the Russian Sports Ministry.
The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.
RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the finding of the agency’s Independent Commission that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.