Track and Field

Russia says athletes have 'moral right' to be in Rio: report

Russia's sports minister is arguing in an interview with a German magazine that his country's athletes have a "moral right" to take part in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Country currently banned by IAAF after doping scandals

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko is shown in this July 2015 file photo in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

Russia's sports minister is arguing in an interview with a German magazine that his country's athletes have a "moral right" to take part in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF council is expected to rule on the fate of Russian athletes in mid-June. Russia is banned from international track and field after its athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF in November following allegations of state-sponsored and systematic doping made by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted Saturday as telling the German weekly Der Spiegel that Russia has "done everything" to be reinstated. He said: "Our athletes have the moral right to be in Rio." Asked whether the entire Russian team would boycott the Olympics if athletes are excluded, he replied: "No."

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