Russian track and field athletes will not be able to compete for their country at the upcoming Rio Olympics over claims the country ran a state-wide doping programme.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 Russian athletes had hoped to overturn the suspension imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) upheld the ban.

Under Olympic rules, the Russian athletes who have not been caught doping could partake in the games as neutrals, but Russia will not be able to field an athletics team.

A handful of Russian athletes could still compete as neutrals at the Rio Games, which start on 5 August.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented:

“While we are thankful that our rules and our power to uphold our rules and the anti doping code have been supported, this is not a day for triumphant statements. I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation’s instinctive desire to include, not exclude. Beyond Rio the IAAF Taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.”

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