Chief coach says Russian athletes to file joint lawsuit with CAS

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Cheboksary (Russia), June 21 (IANS) Russian athletes will lodge a collective lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to defend their right to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, chief coach of the national team Yuri Borzakovsky said on Tuesday.

“A decision will be taken soon that Russian athletes will file a collective lawsuit with the CAS to defend their right to compete in the Rio Olympics. Clean athletes should go to Rio,” he was quoted as saying by TASS.

“I hope the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will soon admit such athletes and they will be able to compete in Rio. They have been involved in no doping scandals. They are a new generation of athletes who came to the fore last year — Sergei Shubenkov, Maria Kuchina. Such athletes also include sports elite — Elena Isinbayeva, for instance.”

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The chief coach stressed that the athletes in the Russian squad meet all necessary criteria for participation in the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I don’t think it is right to suspend such athletes from the Rio Olympics, they should compete there,” Borzakovsky stressed. “All members of our team who are getting prepared for Rio comply with the IAAF criteria. They are clean.”

He said he hoped the CAS will pass a positive decision concerning clean Russian athletes and criticised the position of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the issue.

“The IAAF’s position with regard to our athletes is too tough and is not right. The Olympic Games are on the doorstep and the court is to be quick in considering the cases of those athletes who will file suits about their participation in the Olympics,” he said.

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“I think the court will pass a positive decision on clean athletes.”

The IAAF council on June 17 left in effect the suspension of the All-Russia Athletic Federation’s membership. This means that Russian athletes are unable to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Exceptions will be made for those who will manage to prove they are not involved in doping scandals. The Olympic summit on Tuesday followed in the International Olympic Committee’s footsteps to uphold the IAAF decision.



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