More Russia uncertainty following CAS ruling on rowers


There was further uncertainty over which Russian athletes will compete in Olympics on the eve of the Games in Rio after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that a blanket ban on athletes sanctioned for doping in the past is "unenforceable".

CAS on Thursday released a statement with its verdict in the case between Russian rowing duo Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov and the International Rowing Federation (FISA).

Karabelshikova and Podshivalov were banned for two years back in 2008 for breaching anti-doping violations, so did not meet the criteria set out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which Russian athletes had to meet in order to have any chance of competing in Rio.

CAS partially upheld the appeal just a day before the opening ceremony takes place in Brazil, stating that point athletes' right of natural justice would not be respected if they are not allowed to compete in the Olympics because they have been previously sanctioned for doping regardless of whether they have served the sanction.

The CAS panel called on the FISA to make a decision on whether Karabelshikova and Podshivalov can take part in the Rio Games "without delay".

IOC president Thomas Bach had revealed just hours before the CAS verdict that a figure of how many Russian athletes have been cleared to compete in the Rio will be announced later on Thursday.

Many sportsmen and women were still waiting to discover if they are able to take part in Brazil on the eve of the Games just a day before the opening ceremony.

A three-person panel set up by the IOC were given the final say on the fate of Russian competitors after individual sports federations and CAS also played a key part in the process following revelations of state-sponsored doping made in the McLaren report.

The Russian Olympic Committee president stated that 271 of the 387 Russian athletes named in the team have been given the green light for the Games in Brazil after Bach said a final figure will be announced in due course.