Russian athletes to file class action in bid to lift Olympics ban over doping

Russian athletes will file a class action suit against the ban preventing their participation in the Rio Olympic Games. Their class action suit will be filed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week, officials said. Mikhail Butov, secretary general of the All-Russia Athletic Federation, added: “We have generally formed a group of lawyers with whom we will work.” The move came as Russia’s sports minister said a decision to prevent its weightlifters from competing was like a “psychotic episode”. Vitaly Mutko also condemned the decision as “a departure from … principals and norms”.

Class actions will be filed for certain, but some individual suits are also possible

Secretary general of the All-Russian Athletics Federation, Mikhail Butov

The International Association of Athletics Federations last week upheld the ban, insisting that a “deep-seated culture of doping” remained in Russia. The Russian track and field team will not be allowed to compete at the games, although the International Olympic Committee has said Russians might take part under the country’s flag. In a further blow to the country’s Olympic hopes, Russia’s weightlifters now face exclusion from Rio after being handed a year-long suspension over failed retests on samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games. Weightlifters from Kazakhstan and Belarus have also been suspended.

How can you punish a team which should go to the Olympic Games in 2016 for violations from 2008 or 2012?

Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sports minister