Russia Names Olympic Athletic Squad Despite Ban
Russia has the named 68 track-and-field athletes it wants to send to the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite being banned from the competition, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The list includes two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, Olympic high jump gold medalist Ivan Ukhov, and world hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov. Yekaterina Koneva, former world indoor triple jump champion also made the list, despite a prior doping ban from 2007 to 2009.
Russian athletes were banned from competing in international competitions by The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report claimed widespread state-sponsored doping in the country.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and a number of individual athletes appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last week. The court will hear the claim on July 19 and make a final decision by July 21.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has given its support for the ban, but has said it will allow that Russian athletes to compete in Rio if they receive permission from the IAAF and prove themselves to be clean. The IOC deadline to qualify for the games is July 11.
The IAAF has also ruled that Russians can compete “neutral athletes” by meeting a number of different criteria, including being tested frequently outside of their homeland. Russian runner Yulia Stepanova was the first athlete to be accepted as neutral by the IAAF.
The 68-person list released by the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) this Tuesday promises that it meets the necessary criteria to be able to take part in the international competition. Each of the athletes sent an individual request to the Olympics to be checked by the IAAF, BBC Sports reported on Wednesday.