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Russia to Hold Tournament for Banned Olympic Athletes

Russia is to hold a dedicated tournament for Russian athletes banned from participating in this summer's Olympic Games, the Russian Athletics Federation announced Friday.

The majority of Russia's track-and-field athletes have been barred from competing in all international competition following reports of wide-spread state-backed doping.

The Court for Arbitration in Sport rejected the appeal of 68 Russian athletes on Thursday as they asked to be allowed to compete in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month on the basis of their individual drug test results.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have not yet made a final decision on whether the entire Russian squad will be barred from the competition, despite calls from the World Anti-Doping Association to do exclude them.

“There is still a slight hope that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a decision in our favor,” said Russian Athletics Federation spokesperson Alla Glushenko. "There will be a tournament on Thursday [July 28] so all athletes can maintain their fitness and receive some financial compensation.”

The event’s location is yet to be finalized, with venues in Moscow and other cities being discussed.

“We hope Russia’s top athletes will take part. We don’t know yet whether [two time Olympic pole vault champion] Yelena Isinbaeva will take part,” Glushenko said.

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