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Russia's track & field team currently banned from Rio Olympics

Reporter: Li Sien, Fang Jian 丨 CCTV.com

07-21-2016 15:50 BJT

Having been accused of a state sponsored doping program and now facing total expulsion from the Rio Olympics, Russia's athletics federation has been plunged into desperate times.

Despite the scandal, the county's premier track and field event, The Russian Cup, got underway in Moscow with many athletes still claiming their innocence. CCTV's Julia Lyubova has more.

"This is one of the most prestigious events in Russian track and field athletics, the Russian Cup. Some of Russia's strongest athletes are performing here today. That includes Olympic and World Champions," said Lyubova.

Many of the champions competing here have never been suspected of doping.

However, Russia's track and field athletics team is banned from international competition over widespread doping. The team is also banned from the upcoming Rio Games.

However, 68 Russian athletes have challenged the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They insist they are clean and innocent and they say it's not fair to ban them from the Olympics.

The court's verdict is due on Thursday 21 July.

This is what some of the athletes here think about it.

Ekaterina Koneva, triple jump world champion, said, "There are many question marks, why, why us? Why such injustice towards our country, our sportsmen? Many countries have the same problems, like us, but only Russia is suffering for some reason."

Sergey Shubenkov, 110 hurdles world champion, said, "I am expecting the most correct and fair decision tomorrow that can only be in this situation."

But it's not just Russia's track and field athletics. The whole Russian team's participation in the Rio Olympics in jeopardy.

The International Olympic Committee is exploring legal options for banning Russia from the Games after WADA's shocking revelations of state-run doping. That decision is expected towards the end of this week.

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