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Rio 2016: Russia loses doping appeal

By James Masters

(CNN) -- Russia has failed in its quest to have a ban on its track and field athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games overturned.

The Court for the Arbitration of Sport rejected the appeal made by the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 athletes Thursday.

Russia was suspended from track and field events by the International Association of Athletics Federations -- known as the IAAF -- back in November 2015.

That came after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report which uncovered a culture of state-sponsored doping.

"Today's judgment has created a level playing field for athletes," said the IAAF in a statement Thursday.

"The CAS award upholds the rights of the IAAF to use its rules for the protection of the sport, to protect clean athletes and support the credibility and integrity of competition."

Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, added: "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."

More to follow...

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