Arbitration court to fast-track Russia’s plea on athletes

Lausanne, July 4 (IANS) The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has decided to fast-track the Russian Olympic Committee’s (OCR) petition in defence of track and field athletes who want to perform at the Olympic Games in Brazil next month, the CAS announced on Monday.

The sides have agreed on the accelerated procedure of hearing the lawsuit, a decision on which will be announced no later than July 21, the CAS website said, reports TASS.

“The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and 68 Russian athletes have concluded a specific arbitration agreement to designate the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as the final instance to settle the dispute between the ROC and the IAAF concerning the participation of 68 Russian athletes in the Olympic Games 2016,” the CAS said in a statement.

“In their request for arbitration, the ROC and the 68 athletes request the CAS in particular to review the validity, enforceability and scope of IAAF Competition Rules 22.1(a) and 22.1A, and to order that any Russian athlete who is not currently the subject of any period of ineligibility for the commission of an anti-doping rule violation may participate at the 2016 Olympic Game.”

On November 13, 2015, the world athletics governing body IAAF suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) from IAAF membership. The suspension was confirmed on November 26, 2015, and on June 17, 2016.

Pursuant to Rule 22.1 of the IAAF competition rules, athletes whose national federation is suspended by the IAAF are ineligible for competitions held under the IAAF rules.

The ROC and Russian athletes will act as a single plaintiff to challenge the world athletic body’s decision of June 17 preventing the participation of “clean” Russian athletes in the Olympic Games to be held between August 5 to 21.

Russian athletes’ interests in the CAS will be represented by several foreign specialists.

The Olympic summit on June 21 resolved that Russian athletes who would undergo the IAAF’s check into their non-involvement in anti-doping violations would be able to take part in the Rio Olympic Games. What’s more, they will be able to perform under the Russian flag.

For this purpose, athletes should file applications to the IAAF before July 4, which will be considered by the world athletic body in an individual manner.

–IANS

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