The Latest: Russian athlete hopes court ban leads to reforms


The Latest on Russia’s appeal against the Olympic ban on its track and field athletes (all times local to Rio de Janeiro):

7:00 a.m.

Hammer thrower Sergei Litvinov, who was on Russia’s track and field team for next month’s Olympics, tells The Associated Press he is “very sad” to miss the games but hopes the team’s ban will mean more serious reforms.

Litvinov, who was fifth at last year’s world championships, says he’ll “try not to lose motivation for next year.” He says Russian athletics officials failed to act on doping in time and hopes “that this situation can encourage the management” to continue reforms.

Litvinov, who has been an outspoken campaigner against drug use in Russian sport, calls on international sports authorities to investigate more cases of doping in other countries, claiming in some throwing events “no one knows who really finished in which place” at major competitions.

He adds: “I want all (doping) systems to be shut down. Not just ours, but all of them.”

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6:45 a.m.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says the decision to ban Russian track and field athletes from competing in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was “political.”

Under Thursday’s ruling in Lausanne, 68 Russian track and field athletes who were applying to compete in Rio will not be going to the Olympics.

Mutko told the Tass news agency that Russia will consider its further actions and lashed out at the verdict as unfair.

“In my view, it’s a subjective decision, somewhat political and one with no legal basis,” he was quoted as saying.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow regrets the court’s decision.

Dmitry Peskov expressed regret over the ruling, adding that applying “collective responsibility (to all athletes) can hardly be acceptable.”

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6:30 a.m.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe says he is “thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti-doping code have been supported.” That response comes after a three-member Court of Arbitration for Sport judging panel upheld the IAAF’s right to ban the Russian track and field federation and its athletes from international competition, including the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The International Association of Athletics Federations president adds “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.”

The CAS panel issued an urgent verdict, two days after Tuesday’s appeal hearing, without giving detailed reasons.

The court says those reasons should be “issued as soon as possible.”

That is likely before the IOC executive board discusses Sunday whether to impose a blanket ban on all Russian teams from the Olympics next month.

CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb says: “our decision is not binding on the IOC.”

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6:15 a.m.

Russia has lost its appeal against the ban on its track and field athletes from competing in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal by 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn the ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

The ruling could influence whether the entire Russian Olympic team is banned from the games.

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5:25 a.m.

An appeals court is set to rule on the ban imposed on Russia’s track and field athletes for next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is scheduled to issue a verdict Thursday in the case of 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn the ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

The Russian appeal was heard by a CAS panel on Tuesday.

The appeal questions the validity of the IAAF decision and seeks to ensure the participation in Rio of athletes who are not accused of any doping violation.

The ruling could influence whether the entire Russian Olympic team is banned from the games.