The Russian track and field team lost a legal battle on Thursday in which they sought the right to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) approved a decision to ban 68 Russian competitors from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after a doping scandal. Olympic chief officials on Tuesday banned Russian sports ministry officials and administrators compromised in a state-run doping program; however, the decision whether to block the entire Russian Olympic team was delayed. Currently under scrutiny is the issue of whether collective punishment of all the Russian athletes is legally enforceable.
On Thursday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he was upset by the CAS ruling, stating that, “Unfortunately, a certain president has been established for collective responsibility.”
No country as a whole has ever been banned from the Olympics for doping. Russia’s absence will be felt as it is a sports powerhouse in the Olympic movement.
The idea for the ban resulted from the World Anti Doping Agency accusing Russia’s sports ministry of overseeing the doping of the country’s Olympic athletes in “state-sponsored doping.” It found 312 positive tests which Russia’s deputy minister of sport told lab workers not to report to WADA.