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Sport's highest tribunal rejected Russia's appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from the Rio Olympics.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Thursday slamed a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, to reject a legal challenge by a group of Russian athletes against a Rio Olympics ban, calling it a "crime against sport," Interfax news agency reported.
Sport's highest tribunal rejected Russia's appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from the Rio Olympics, which starts in 15 days.
"CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes," CAS said in a statement that backed the right the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF, to suspend the Russian athletics federation.
The decision by the CAS increases the possibility that the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, will now exclude Russia from all sports, not just track and field, in Rio de Janeiro.
That would mark the deepest crisis in the Olympic movement since the U.S. and Soviet boycotts of the 1980s.
The head of Russia's delegation to the Rio Olympics said the decision was devoid of any logic, and double Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva called it "the funeral of athletics."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "I certainly regret such a decision by CAS which refers to absolutely all of our athletes."
Russia had argued it had taken steps to clean up the sport, and that the blanket ban was unfair to individual athletes with no record of doping.
"The principle of collective responsibility is hardly acceptable," Peskov said.
Interfax news agency quoted Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko as saying Russian officials would consider what steps to take in the light of the court's decision, and that things could not be left as they are.
The ball is now in the court of the IOC to decide whether Russia should be excluded from all sports at the Rio Games, starting on Aug. 5.