Russia had hoped that an IAAF ban could be overruled by Russia had hoped that an IAAF ban could be overruled by the International Olympic Committee, which has convened a summit for Tuesday to discuss the issue of Russias status. However, that appears unlikely after the IOC said Saturday that it “fully respects” the IAAF ruling. Russias last chance is likely to be an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Two race walkers said Sunday they had applied for CAS to rule on the issue. However, even the IAAF ban leaves open an avenue for a select few Russians to compete at the Olympics. A provision allowing athletes to compete under “neutral” status can apply to those who can show they have been living and training abroad, under a more rigorous system of anti-doping tests than Russias, which is currently mostly suspended following persistent allegations it covered up for doped stars. Among those who could benefit is 800-meter runner Yulia Stepanova, whose testimony to the World Anti-Doping Agency about drug use helped to spark an unprecedented investigation. Theres also a chance for long jumper Darya Klishina, who has long been based in the United States, well away from the embattled Russian track and field system. Her coach Loren Seagrave was reluctant to talk about Klishinas plans, but told the AP that the turmoil in Russian track and field had no impact. “Daryas preparation has not been affected at all,” he said. “Shes been out of Russia now for almost eight months and (has) been tested on a regular basis – (so this decision) doesnt affect her preparation at all.” If Klishina is to compete, it wouldnt be under the Russian flag, but a neutral symbol, perhaps the IOCs emblem. Meanwhile, dozens of other Russians look set to stay at home. AP KHS KHSadvertisement
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