Russian athletes plead to be allowed to compete in Rio


June 16, 2016
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2015 file photo German Athletics Association, DLV, President Clemens Prokop speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Germany. Prokop urged the IOC on Friday to keep Russian and Kenyan athletes out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, even if they pass pre-games doping tests. (AP FILE)

Russian athletes pleaded yesterday to be allowed to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, making their case two days before the IAAF decides whether to lift its ban on the country's track and field team.

The Russian Olympic Committee athletes' commission sent a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach asking for "your support in upholding" the right of clean athletes to take part in the games.

"We ask you and the International Olympic Committee to take a humanitarian attitude to the many athletes whose fate is at stake and to take a balanced and wise decision," the letter said.

Russia was suspended from international track and field by the IAAF in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread, state-sponsored doping. The IAAF council meets tomorrow in Vienna to decide whether to maintain the ban.

The International Olympic Committee has scheduled a summit of sports leaders next Tuesday to consider Russia's eligibility.

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