Will Russian athletes go to Rio Olympic Games?

 Will Russian athletes go to Rio Olympic Games?

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected the Russian Olympic Committee’s appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Russian athletes will not be able to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"CAS rejects the appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes," CAS said in a statement.

The secretary of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Matthieu Reeb, commenting on the decision, said that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) had no right to enter its national field and track athletes for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. The secretary general noted that Russian Olympic Committee could appeal the ruling in the Swiss Federal Court.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko considers the ruling politicized and believes it has no legal grounds. "I can express nothing but regret. We will now consider our further steps. I think this decision is biased and somewhat politicized and has no legal grounds," TASS cited Mutko as saying.

Double Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva described the CAS decision as the funeral of Russian athletics. "Thank you everyone for the funeral of athletics. It's a pure political decision. All the arguments are directed against ARAF and nothing concrete against athletes," she stressed.

She noted that Russian athletes can only rely on the International Olympic Committee. "The IOC has the right to take its own decision. Once again, I must say that the final decision will be announced by the head of the IOC Thomas Bach" Isinbayeva pointed out.

A creative producer and the host of Vesti FM, Gia Saralidze, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, expressed an opinion that chances that Russian athletes will go to the Olympics in Rio are negligible, since it is unlikely that the IOC will challenge the court's decision in Lausanne.

"Now this verdict will be used in order to ban all the Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, this solution will be used by different forces, including doping commissions of those countries that were in favor of preventing the participation of Russian athletes at any international competitions," the expert noted.

According to Saralidze, one should also pay attention to the fact that the IOC has asked the federations of winter sports to suspend the preparation for holding of international and other major competitions, which should be held in Russia next year and in the next season.

"The situation with this decision of the Lausanne Sports Arbitration Court is rather expected, of course, there were hopes that some common sense will prevail in the end, but, unfortunately, this did not happen and the worst fears came true," he added.

"The expert suggested that the doping situation in Russian sports would have unfolded differently without a certain order. "Everyone knows who initiated it, what countries led these commissions. Although they are called independent commissions, but something tells me that the majority in these independent commissions and anti-doping structures are representatives of the US, UK and Canada. Politics was involved, of course," Saralidze pointed out.

At the same time, the creative producer and the host of Vesti FM said about two possible ways out of this situation: the first way is to take great offense, and the second is to continue the work with structures which impose sanctions against our athletes.

"The Olympic Committee and the international federations of different sports includes not only those countries which initiated it, but other countries as well.  We should work with them, it is necessary to ensure that these restrictions will be removed," the expert said, adding that the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, spoke out against a boycotting of Olympics by our athletes.

"The second way can last more than a year. However, a blow which can be dealt to the Russian sport is huge. It will affect not only the children's and youth sports, but also its development in the country in general," Gia Saralidze concluded.