GAME BAN: Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.
GAME BAN: Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO JR

IOC set to rule on blanket Russian ban

OLYMPICS: Pressure has continued to build on the International Olympic Committee to issue Russia with a blanket ban from the Rio Games.

Russia lost its Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal against an Olympic ban on its track and field athletes – a decision that only adds to the case for the IOC to exclude the country entirely.

But with the IOC, which is expected to reveal its decision on Sunday, still possibly ready to leave the decision to individual sports, swimming’s world governing body, FINA, refused to say whether it would support excluding Russians.

The CAS stressed that its decision was not binding on the IOC, which has the final say as the supreme organiser of the Games.

“The door is open for the IOC to decide, to determine even on a case-by-case principle, whether these athletes are eligible or not,” CAS general secretary Mattieu Reeb said.

The IOC said in a statement it would “study and analyse the full decision” and make its own final ruling on the participation of Russian athletes “in the coming days”.

The Kremlin said it deeply regretted the CAS decision, with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who the IOC has already banned from Rio, saying it would be challenged in civil courts.

“In my view, it’s a subjective decision, somewhat political and one with no legal basis,” he told the TASS news agency.

The IOC could ban the Russian team outright based on Article 4.5 and 4.6 of its Olympic charter, which warns national Olympic committees that, while they can work with governments, “they shall not associate themselves with any activity which would be in contradiction with the Olympic charter”, and “must preserve their autonomy and resist pressures of any kind which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic charter”.

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