Russia's Olympic ban will scare drug cheats, says Bolt

Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:51am EDT
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(Reuters) - The ban on Russia's track and field athletes from the Rio Games will scare drug cheats and help cleaning up the sport, Jamaica's six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has said.

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected Russia's appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from next month's Games.

The ban on Russia's track-and-field team going to Rio was imposed last November by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after an independent report uncovered rampant state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

It was maintained in June after the IAAF Council ruled that not enough progress had been made in transforming Russia's anti-doping program.

"This will scare a lot of people and send a strong message that the sport is serious about cleaning up," Bolt told British media.

"If you have the proof and you catch somebody I definitely feel you should take action."

Russia won the third biggest overall medal haul at the London Olympics in 2012.

The decision by the CAS, sport's highest tribunal, increases the possibility that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will now exclude Russia from all sports, not just track and field, in Rio de Janeiro.

"If they feel like banning the whole team is the right action, then I am all for it," Bolt said.   Continued...

Britain Athletics - London Anniversary Games Preview Press Conference - Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London - 21/7/16
Jamaica's Usain Bolt poses before the press conference
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge