Russian track athletes banned from 2016 Rio Olympics due to doping violations

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Vladimir Putin with Russian athletes at the 2012 Olympics. USATSI

Russia's track and field team has been banned from this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by the sport's governing body.

According to the New York Times, Russia did not do enough to convince the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that it should be allowed to participate in the upcoming Games after reports of widespread doping and corruption.

The decision was made public at a press conference following a meeting of IAAF officials in Vienna, but the expected outcome was reported beforehand.

The International Olympic Committee meets Tuesday and could overrule the IAAF ban by allowing members of the Russian team to compete, or it could punish the country even further.

According to USA Today, IOC President Thomas Bach said measures could include the exclusion of entire national federations under a "zero-tolerance" policy, which means that all Russian athletes could potentially be banned from participating in Rio.

The Russian ministry issued a statement following the IAAF decision, saying "we now appeal to the members of the International Olympic Committee to not only consider the impact that our athletes' exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence."

According to The Telegraph, Russian Olympic Committee head Alexander Zhukov claims there are about 100 track and field athletes on Russia's Olympic team and barring them from Rio would be a "blow to the Olympic movement".

The IAAF suspended Russian track and field athletes from other competition in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report which detailed a systemic doping program and corruption by sports officials.

Among other violations, the report said Russian security service personnel had intimidated testers, customs services had tampered with doping sample packages, and athletes evaded doping controls -- including one who tried to give a fake urine sample using a "container inserted inside her body."

In its bid to overturn the ban, Russia has announced a series of reforms, including the introduction of mandatory anti-doping classes in schools.

Before Friday's announcement, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said, "Russia has done everything that IAAF independent commission has rightly asked of us in order to be reinstated to athletic competition."

The Russian track and field team was expected to perform well in Rio. They won four medals at the 2015 world championships, two of them gold -- Sergey Shubenkov in the men's 110-meter hurdles and Mariya Kuchina in the women's high jump.

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