RUSSIA has lost its appeal against a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF] on its track and field athletes, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.
The decision means that the International Olympic Committee will have more reason to impose a blanket ban on Russia for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the wake of the McLaren report that revealed mass state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
A statement from the IAAF immediately after the decision was announced read: "The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has taken a strong stance on upholding the World Anti-Doping Code without fear and favour and is pleased that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has supported its position.
"Today's judgement has created a level playing field for athletes. The Cas award upholds the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport, to protect clean athletes and support the credibility and integrity of competition."
IAAF president Sebastian Coe, who has seen his first year in charge of the governing body littered with doping scandals and other controversial incidents, admitted that the decision - while the right one for the IAAF - was not a pleasing one given the current state that athletics finds itself in.
"While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti-doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements," Coe said in a statement.
"I didn't come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation's instinctive desire to include, not exclude.
Beyond Rio the IAAF Taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition."
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