Clean Russian athletes to appeal to CAS - ROC president


Russian Olympic Committee president Aleksander Zhukov says clean athletes from the banned nation will lodge appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The IAAF confirmed last Friday that Russia's track and field suspension was to remain in place with the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro less than two months away.

International athletics' governing body announced Russia had "not met the reinstatement conditions" to have its ban lifted.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and International Olympic Committee (IOC) have backed the IAAF's decision, but Zhukov questioned the legality of a blanket ban that punishes athletes not guilty of doping.

"Banning clean athletes from the Rio Olympic Games contradicts the values of the Olympic Movement and violates the principles of the Olympic Charter; it is also legally indefensible and devalues their competitors' success," said the ROC president at an IOC summit on Tuesday.

"The Russian athletes who have never violated anti-doping rules and RusAF [All-Russia Athletics Federation] will appeal to CAS in order to protect the interests and rights of all athletes who have proven their innocence and have not used prohibited substances or methods. 

"The Russian Olympic Committee supports these appeals and will also challenge the IAAF Council decision regarding the rights of the NOC [National Olympic Committee] in order to prevent the violation of the Olympic Charter.

"And we hope that CAS will make an objective, fair and lawful decision, in spite of the already publicly announced position of its president."

Zhukov claimed allowing whistleblower Yulia Stepanova and other athletes previously found to have committed doping violations to compete was "an extreme injustice and humiliation" to clean Russian competitors.

"Do you really think it is fair to make it impossible for Yelena Isinbayeva and Sergey Shubenkov to participate in the Olympic Games which will be attended by Tyson Gay and twice disqualified for doping Justin Gatlin?" he added.

"From the perspective of Russian athletes, it is an extreme injustice and humiliation. And just imagine - in the absence of athletes who never violated any rules - how cynical Yulia Stepanova's participation will be, after she was disqualified for doping some time ago."