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Russian lawmaker: CAS decision on Russian athletes politicized

July 25, 2016, 4:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Konstantin Kosachev also stressed that the absence of Russian athletes at the Olympic Games will devalue victories of other participants

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MOSCOW, July 25. /TASS/. The decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) that upheld the ban for Russian athletes to compete at 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero is politicized, chairman of Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said in an interview with the Izvestiya newspaper published on Monday.

"The decision that is not selective, that is applied not to separate athletes regarding some kind of involvement in doping, but to the country from which these athletes come from, cannot be anything but politicized," Kosachev said.

The lawmaker also stressed that the absence of Russian athletes at the Olympic Games will devalue victories of other participants. "They will never be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they were faster, higher, stronger. This motto of the Olympic movement will always look like ‘you won in the absence of the strongest’ in the conditions of non-participation of one of the strongest Olympic teams in the world - the Russian team," Kosachev added.

Despite the fact that the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was not as radical, there are not really many reasons for joy, he noted. "We will now wait for a new series of decisions, this time from federations, but this is in any case unpleasant and works against our athletes and against Russia," he concluded.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a meeting of its executive board to discuss possible blanket ban of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics. The IOC executive committee decided not to ban the Russian team. Individual decision on Russian athletes will be taken by relevant international federations. Apart from that, the IOC ruled than no Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping will be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if he or she has served the sanction.

The press service of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) told TASS that it will not reconsider applications of Russian athletes to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games.

On July 21 the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled against the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes thus closing the doors for Russian field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. Only long jump athlete Darya Klishina, who has lived and trained in the United States for the last three years, will be allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 31st Summer Olympic Games will be held in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro from August 5 through 21, 2016.

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