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67 RUSSIANS APPLY FOR EXEMPTIONS TO BAN FROM #RIO2016 OLYMPICS
Rio 2016 opens in six weeks, but the daily reports of political scandal, threats from pollution and disease, stories of financial mismanagement and worries about unfinished infrastructure are hot topics in press of the world, and the Russian team’s ban has topped all the headlines in recent days.
67 Russian athletes have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The overall ban imposed on the Russian team in November over widespread doping, was last week upheld by the IAAF, but allowed an exemption for athletes who can show they have been subject to reliable drug-testing outside their home country.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Russia’s Match TV on Saturday that the 67 athletes would submit “individual applications” to the IAAF and were also prepared to file lawsuits at the Court of Arbitration for Sport if exemptions were not granted.
The IAAF is unlikely to approve most of the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at a small minority of athletes based abroad. There is also a dispute between the IAAF and the International Olympic Committee over which flag they could compete under. The IAAF favours a “neutral” designation; the IOC says the Russian flag would be used.