Arbitration To Determine Fate of Russia, and Ultimately Bahamas
by RENALDO DORSETT
It was a valiant effort in their bid toward Olympic qualification; however, the fate of Bahamas’ women’s 4x400m relay team could ultimately be decided in court.
Yesterday, the IAAF published the ranking lists for individual and relay events to be contested at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and team Bahamas was ranked, just outside of the cut of 16 teams which will qualify for Rio.
Russia is ranked No.10, but the participation of their athletes is in jeopardy, shrouded amid a doping controversy that has rocked the Russian Olympic Committee.
The IAAF initially banned the All-Russia Athletics Federation from participation in the 2016 Games because of widespread doping in the country, however, 68 clean athletes are arguing they should be allowed to compete.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reached an agreement with all stakeholders, including the Russia Olympic Committee, to deliver a ruling on the matter by 21 July “at the latest” after agreeing to “an expedited procedure”.
The standing of Russia’s women’s 4x400m qualification is conditional on the CAS ruling.
“The ROC, IAAF and 68 Russian athletes have concluded a specific arbitration agreement to designate the CAS as the final instance to settle the dispute between the ROC and the IAAF concerning the participation of 68 Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (athletics events),” a CAS statement read.
The Bahamas moved up to the fringe of qualification after their performance at the Blue Marlin Track and Field Classic, which took place less than 24 hours ahead of the deadline for Olympic qualification.
The top eight teams from the 2015 IAAF World Relay Championships earned automatic bids to the Olympics. The next eight fastest times are be chosen to make up the field.
The quartet of Lanece Clarke, Carmiesha Cox, Christine Amertil and Shaquania Dorsett took first place in 3:30.34 secs.
Trinidad and Tobago finished second in the final in 3:30.37 and Jamaica picked up bronze in 3:39.66.
The run gave the Bahamas an aggregate time of 6:58.41 secs and average time of 3:29.20 secs.
According to the CAS, and under suggestion from the Russian Olympic Committee, only Russian athletes tested mainly outside of the country under stringent measures may be allowed to participate in the 2016 Olympics. However, they would compete as individuals and not under the Russian flag.