Controversy of the Day

Russia has one more shot to get unbanned from the 2016 Olympics


Russian sprinter Maksim Dyldin on the far right trying to catch up to Oscar Pistorius. (Marc/Flickr)

Russia's track and field team probably won't be at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games. News reports and the World Anti-Doping Agency have already accused (and presented evidence) of the Russian government turning a blind eye or even allowing its track and field athletes to use blood doping to enhance their performance.

The accusations and following investigations led to the current ban on Russia's track and field team--a ban Russia hopes to overturn. But overturning the ban is a lot less likely now.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) reviewed the ban and instead of lifting it, they extended it. If the ruling holds, this will be the first time the Olympics has barred a team for blood doping.

The IAAF extended the ban because they don't think Russia has done enough to prevent future blood doping violations:

"The deep-seated culture of tolerance of doping appears not to have been changed materially. The head coach of Russian athletics and many athletes appear unwilling to acknowledge extent of the doping problem and ignore the anti-doping rules."

There's still some hope for Russia, though. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will meet next week to decide whether or not to uphold the IAAF's ban.

Naturally, the Russian Ministry of Sport is pressuring the IOC to lift the ban:

"We now appeal to the members of the (IOC) to not only consider the impact that our athletes' exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence."

If Russia's appeal fails, its athletes clean of doping charges can still apply as independent competitors.

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Russia has one more shot to get unbanned from the 2016 Olympics

Dieter Holger

Dieter is an associate editor at Kicker who loves discussing dolphins and politics. On top of Kicker, he's a HuffPost campus editor. He has a bachelor's of philosophy from UC Santa Cruz and is studying for a masters of computational journalism at Cardiff University. Follow him on Twitter @dieterholger.

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