Olympics: Ban on Russian weightlifters and rowers upheld | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.08.2016
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Olympics: Ban on Russian weightlifters and rowers upheld

Eight Russian weightlifters and 17 rowers have had their appeals rejected after they were banned from the Rio Olympics for doping, following a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

There will be no Russian weightlifters at the Rio Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday rejected the country's appeal against a ban imposed by the sport's governing body, the IWF.

The Russian team were banned last week after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said "the integrity of weightlifting has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians". The Russian Weightlifting Federation appealed to CAS but sport's ultimate court ruled against them.

"The appeal has been dismissed," CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said. "The CAS panel in charge of this case has determined that the decision of the IWF was valid and proportionate to the circumstances."

On Tuesday, CAS dismissed an appeal by 17 Russian rowers -treated as one case - in similar circumstances.

Last month, the IWF said its Executive Board had decided to suspend for a year national federations that produced three or more doping violations in retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.It named Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus, but said it would await confirmation of the positive tests from the IOC before implementing the suspension.

Schweiz Thomas Bach in Lausanne

IOC president Thomas Bach has been heavily criticized for his handling of the Russian doping scandal.

Last week it noted that Russian competitors had been named in the McLaren Report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that exposed evidence of state-backed doping, evasion and cover-ups in Russia.

The IOC has directed sports federations to allow Russian athletes to compete in Rio only if they could effectively prove that they had operated in an environment with a bona-fide anti-doping regime. The IOC also said any athletes specifically named in the McLaren report should be excluded.

In its statement last week the IWF said: "We would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters."

Reeb dismissed any criticism about the role of CAS in ruling on athletes' involvement in the Games.

"There have been criticisms about the CAS decision with respect to athletics a few days ago, but our activity, our job, is really to render decisions according to the law," he said. "We are not a political body, we do not express political opinions and of course we cannot be seen as a political institution.

"Maybe fans or the public in Russia may consider us as the bad guys but in reality it should not be so."

CAS has been front and center already in Rio. Reeb said the appeals court has handled 18 cases, breaking the record 11 cases it handled during the London Olympics in 2012..

mds/dv (Reuters, AP)

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