Moscow considers that athletes who have not been caught doping or are not suspected of doing so should have a right to participate in the Olympics, Dmitry Peskov, the government spokesman, told journalists.

Moscow : Russia hopes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will allow its athletes not caught up in recent doping allegations to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics, a Kremlin spokesperson said on Friday.

Dmitry Peskov, the government spokesman added that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that upheld the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) ban on all Russian athletes was “very unpleasant” and “bad news.”

“It is regrettable, of course, that the verdict was made right before the Olympics,” Peskov said, adding that time was “limited” to legally challenge the ruling, reports Efe.

He vowed that the government would continue its work defending the “lawful rights” of the athletes.

The Kremlin “still does not agree with any generalised decisions and resolutions on the basis of collective responsibility,” Peskov said.

The CAS on Thursday rejected Russia’s appeal over the Olympics ban on the country’s athletes caused by the recent doping scandal.

The decision, however, left the door open for some athletes who “fulfil certain specific criteria” to be allowed to compete in Rio.

These criteria include having trained for several years in countries other than Russia, as well as having submitted to anti-doping tests by foreign agencies.

The court’s verdict could affect the rest of the Russian Olympic delegation, whose chances of being allowed to participate in the Rio Games have been diminished following the damming McLaren report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which said the Russian government had enabled its top athletes to cheat on anti-doping tests.

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