Russian track athletes won't compete at Rio Olympics: Court

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Russia Loses Appeal Against Olympics Ban

A total ban on Russian participation at the Summer Olympics in Rio moved a step closer Thursday when the country's track and field athletes lost a legal bid seeking the right to compete at next month's event.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — the world's highest authority in sports — upheld a decision by the track and field's governing body to exclude 68 Russian competitors amid the unfolding doping scandal.

SEE MORE: Check out everything you need to know about Rio 2016

With only 15 days until the opening ceremony, Russia still doesn't know whether the rest of its Olympic team will be taking part.

Olympic chiefs on Tuesday barred Russian sports ministry officials and administrators implicated in a huge state-run doping program but delayed a ruling on whether to take the unprecedented step of blocking the entire Russian Olympic team.

At stake is the issue of whether collective punishment of all Russian athletes would be fair or legally enforceable.

PHOTOS: Rio Olympics arenas and set-up

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Rio Olympics arenas and set-up, aerial photos
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Rio Olympics arenas and set-up, aerial photos
An aerial view shows the X-Park at Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view shows Rio Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An athlete trains at canoe slalom at the X-Park at Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Arpoador beach (bottom) and Copacabana beach (top), which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Men work at Rio Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Copacabana Beach, will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view of Copacabana Beach, which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, which will host rowing and canoe sprint, at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
The collapsed area of the new cycle lane is seen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows Leblon Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Men work on the construction of a building next to the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Vila Autodromo slum next to 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Marina da Gloria, which will host the sailing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Deodoro Olympic Park ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the Vila Autodromo slum next to 2016 Rio Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An aerial view of Copacabana Beach, which will host the beach volleyball, marathon swimming, road cycling and triathlon during the 2016 Rio Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
An aerial view shows the 2016 Rio Olympics golf venue (L) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 25, 2016. With 100 days to go before the Olympic games begin in Rio de Janeiro, a host nation famous for doing things at the last minute faces a novel situation - the organisation is not an issue, political turmoil and apathy are. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "100 OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called for a balance between "individual justice and collective punishment," and Russia's Olympic Committee has said that punishing all athletes, regardless of their involvement in doping, would be unfair.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Thursday he regretted the CAS ruling, according to the Interfax news agency. "Unfortunately, a certain precedent has been established for collective responsibility," he said.

Russian pole vault champion Elena Isinbayeva described the ruling as the "funeral of athletics," according to the TASS news agency.

No country as a whole has ever been barred from the games for doping, and Russia is a major force in the Olympic movement as well as a sports powerhouse.

The last time Russia was missing from the Olympics was when it boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Games in retaliation for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The prospect of a ban comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency accused Russia's sports ministry of overseeing the vast and systematic doping of the country's Olympic athletes. It found 312 positive tests that Russia's deputy minister of sport directed lab workers not to report to WADA.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which imposed the track and field ban, said it was "thankful" for the CAS ruling.

"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," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said in a statement. "I didn't come into this sport to stop athletes from competing. It is our federation's instinctive desire to include, not exclude."

Russian track and field athletes will remain banned from the Olympics

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