LAUSANNE – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decisions in the arbitrations between the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), a number of Russian athletes (the Claimant Athletes) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Thursday (21 July).
The CAS has dismissed both the request for arbitration filed by the ROC and 68 Claimant Athletes, and the appeal filed by 67 of the same athletes against the IAAF decision to consider them as ineligible for the Olympic Games in Rio.
The arbitrations were referred to a Panel of CAS arbitrators: Prof. Luigi Fumagalli, Italy (President), Mr Jeffrey G. Benz, United States and His Honour James Robert Reid QC, United Kingdom.
The Panel held a hearing with the parties on 19 July 2016. The CAS Panel has confirmed the validity of the IAAF’s decision to apply Rules 22.1(a) and 22.1A of the IAAF Competition Rules, which state that athletes whose national federation is suspended by the IAAF are ineligible for competitions held under the IAAF Rules, in accordance with the Olympic Tribunal Arbitral du Sport Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Meanwhile, the IAAF said it 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,” said IAAF in a statement.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “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. 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.”
Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer, Phil Jones, also has commeted made the following commenton the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to reject the appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes.
“Athletics Australia welcomes the decision by CAS to uphold the IAAF ban on Russian athletes competing in athletics at the upcoming Olympic Games. It is a victory for clean sport and sends a powerful message to people and organisations that breach doping rules for their own benefit,” Jones said.
In Russia, RusAF president Dmitriy Shlakhtin said that one more appeal for any court against CAS decision will have zero effect.
“We have only one way, we should go further. We need to be restored and we’ll do all possible to return trust from the IAAF and IOC,” Shlyakhtin told Sport-express.
He’s sure that the expected IOC decision would not bring any differences but he expressed hopes that IOC will meet even some ‘cleanest’ athletes’ halfway. Shlyakhtin also assured that Russian track and field athletes would not lose state and regional support to continue their trainings.
RusAF general secretary Mikhail Butov told reporters on Thursday “The largest frustration is that lots of ‘clean’ athletes have been punished”
“The athletes who have never been implicated in doping, will stay aside from the Olympics. The decision is directed against the athletes.”
Also the Russian sports authorities intend to turn to the IAAF ethics as no probes of this organization’s activity are held, informs Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko.
“We recognize and respect the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This is a judicial body but the IAAF’s behavior and persistence cause indignation. Corruption has been exposed in it… Our athletes and we intend to apply to the ethics committee [of the IAAF],” Mutko said.
Official statement of Russian Olympic Committee says that ROC is utterly frustrated with the ruling of the CAS on the ROC lawsuit against the IAAF.
“The most dangerous precedent has been created and since that the entire sporting community will live under new laws. We do not know where today’s CAS ruling has stemmed from and what has motivated it, but the ROC is determined in its activities to fight for the rights of all clean athletes to the end at any international human rights organizations as we are absolutely convinced that personal responsibility cannot and must not include the innocent ones,” the statement said.