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Russian track and field federation considering appeal to CAS

IAAF World Race Walking Cup 2012 - Press Conference

SARANSK, RUSSIA - MAY 11: Mikhail Butov executive director WRWS 2012 Loc attends a press conference of IAAF World Race Walking Cup 2012 on May 11, 2012 in Saransk, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)

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VIENNA (AP) -- The Russian track and field federation is considering an appeal against the IAAF’s decision to uphold its ban from international competitions, including the Olympics.

Asked if an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports was possible, general secretary Mikhail Butov tells The Associated Press that the federation needs time to consider Friday’s ruling, but “of course we will use all opportunities to protect the athletes.”

Butov also says he doesn’t “see a possibility legally” for individual Russians to be allowed to compete as neutral athletes under an IAAF proposal aimed at whistleblowers and those who have been living and training outside Russia.

Asked which Russians could qualify, Butov says “pretty much our whole team has training camps in Portugal - do they count or not?”

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says it is “absurd” for the IAAF to allow individual Russians to compete as neutral athletes while the country’s track and field team remains suspended.

Rune Andersen, the head of the IAAF’s Russia task force, said there was a “very tiny crack in the door” for Russians to compete if they had been subject to a reliable drug-testing regime outside Russia.

Mutko says the plan is “somewhat absurd” in comments to Russian agency R-Sport. He also claimed that all Russian athletes should be eligible for that special dispensation because foreign anti-doping organizations have overseen drug testing in the country in recent months.

That, Mukto says, put Russians “outside the system” of tainted Russian organizations.

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