67 Russians apply for Olympic track and field spots

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian sports minister says “up to 67 athletes” have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The IAAF last week upheld its overall ban on the Russian team — imposed in November over widespread doping — but allowed an exemption for athletes who can show they have been subject to reliable drug-testing outside their home country.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Russia’s Match TV that the 67 athletes would submit “individual applications” to the IAAF but were also prepared to file lawsuits at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IAAF is unlikely to approve the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at athletes based abroad.

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