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Official says CAS verdict banning Russia from Olympics is against athletes

July 21, 20:32 UTC+3 ZHUKOVSKY
The All-Russian Federation of Athletics secretary general says the most disappointing fact is that lots of clean athletes have been punished
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Secretary General of the All-Russian Federation of Athletics Mikhail Butov

Secretary General of the All-Russian Federation of Athletics Mikhail Butov

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

ZHUKOVSKY /Moscow region/, July 21. /TASS/. A ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) banning Russian track and field athletes from competing at next month’s Olympics in Rio is directed against athletes, Secretary General of the All-Russian Federation of Athletics (ARAF) Mikhail Butov told reporters on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, CAS ruled against the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), thus closing the doors for Russian track and field athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

According to the CAS ruling, the Olympic Committee of Russia (OCR) cannot nominate for the Games the Russian athletes who are not compliant with IAAF criteria. Also, the judgement says that the OCR can file an appeal with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in the next 30 days.

"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."

"Disappointment is the strongest feeling now," he went on to say. "We hoped that our reasons for the criteria would be heard. They were not heard, however, but we received such a decision instead."

On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still early to restore the membership of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the international organization and suspended Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

ARAF will keep defending Russians’ rights to compete at world events

According to Butov, the ARAF will continue to defend the Russian track and field athletes' right to compete in international competitions.

"If McLaren’s report is mentioned, it did not contain any surnames," Butov said. "We filed a lawsuit against IAAF criteria and would proceed with our defense. Decisions should be made on a judicial basis: it is not right that the ruling was like that."

Banning all Russian track-and-fielders from Rio Games is unfair 

The President of Latvia’s National Olympic Committee Aldons Vrublevskis believes decision to ban all Russian track-and-field athletes from the Summer Olympic Games is unfair.

"I can assess this decision in emotional terms only," he told Baltcom radio.

"I think if the group of 68 athletes forbidden to take part in the Games includes some who haven’t been found guilty of doping throughout their careers, then his decision is unfair and I’m against such punishments," Vrublevskis said.

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