Russian track and field athletes remain banned as Rio 2016 looms


Russian track and field athletes are a step closer to missing the Rio Olympic Games after the IAAF decided to uphold a ban that was imposed following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

The country's athletes were suspended from international competition by the IAAF last November in light of a damning report from the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) independent commission.

On Friday, the IAAF Council met in Vienna to decide whether Russia has done enough to tackle the issues and the verdict from athletics' governing body was that the ban will not be lifted, with the Rio Games just seven weeks away.

However, Russian athletes could yet be given the chance to compete in Brazil, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to hold a meeting next week to discuss the matter, amid concerns innocent athletes will be punished.

In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Sport announced it was "extremely disappointed" by the IAAF's decision to uphold the ban.

An IAAF taskforce was set up in order to monitor Russia's anti-doping reforms after the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) accepted its suspension without requesting a hearing.

Rune Andersen, independent chair of the IAAF taskforce, said in March that Russia still had "significant work to be done" in order to meet the verification criteria for re-entry to international competition.

And the IAAF have not been satisfied that Russia have done what was asked of them.