MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has appealed a ban of its athletics team from next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over doping, the country’s Olympic committee said Sunday.
Russian Olympic Committee spokesman Konstantin Vybornov confirmed to The Associated Press by e-mail that the appeal had been filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and would be heard July 19.
If Russia wins, the Olympic application deadline “will be extended” to let Russian athletes apply, the ROC’s legal department head Alexandra Brilliantova told the Tass news agency.
The case is being brought jointly by the ROC and dozens of top Russian athletes.
The IAAF, track’s world governing body, suspended Russia in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report detailed widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field. The ban was upheld by the IAAF in a vote last month.
The IAAF ban already allows a small number of Russians to compete at the Rio Olympics if they can show they have been based outside the country and subject to testing from a respected, non-Russian anti-doping agency.
Brilliantova said Sunday that she believed only two Russians would currently fit the criteria out of more than 80 who have applied to the IAAF. While Brilliantova did not name the duo, they are likely to be the U.S.-based long jumper Daria Klishina, who is a two-time European indoor champion, and the Italy-based pole vaulter Alyona Lutkovskaya.
In addition, the IAAF has already approved an application from Russian athlete and doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, whose testimony of doping within the Russian team, including undercover footage of apparent doping confessions, formed an important part of the evidence against Russia in the WADA investigation.
Stepanova is due to return to competition next week at the European championships, racing in the 800 meters as a so-called “neutral athlete” not representing a particular country.
European Athletics said Sunday that athletes at the championships would wear bibs with messages such as “I run clean,” ”I jump clean” and “I throw clean” in a statement against performance-enhancing drug use.