In recent weeks, Olympians have called on sports officials to conduct further investigations into the extent of the cheating of which Russia has been accused.

Russia's track and field team has been barred from competing in this summer's Rio Games because of a far-reaching doping conspiracy, an extraordinary punishment that might be without precedent in Olympics history.

The global governing body for track and field, known as the I.A.A.F., announced the decision on Friday, ruling in a unanimous vote that Russia had not done enough to restore global confidence in the integrity of its athletes.

The International Olympic Committee, the ultimate authority over the Games, is due to discuss the decision on Tuesday. If Olympics officials were to amend the ruling against Russia, it would be an unusual move, as they have historically deferred to the governing bodies for specific sports.

The Russian ministry of sport said in a statement on Friday that it was "extremely disappointed," adding: "We now appeal to the members of the International Olympic Committee to not only consider the impact that our athletes' exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence."

Russian track and field athletes have been suspended from international competition for the last seven months, after the publication of a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency that accused the nation of an elaborate government-run doping program. Though Russia denied those accusations, the country's track and field authorities did not contest the suspension when given an opportunity in November.

Maria Sharapova was Russia's flag bearer at the 2012 Olympics in London. The key issue of individual justice versus collective punishment framed Friday's decision on Russia's track and field team.

Since then, however, Russian officials have striven to persuade global decision-makers that they can be trusted in Olympic competition, volunteering to go beyond standard eligibility requirements and to send only athletes who have not been disciplined for drug use.

To allow athletes without a history of drug violations to compete - as the I.O.C. may discuss on Tuesday - could prove controversial. The sophistication of Russia's operation, whistle-blowers have alleged, has made athletes on steroids appear to be clean, be it through surreptitiously swapping out incriminating urine samples or imbibing drugs with liquor to minimize the period during which they can be detected.

On Friday, hours before the vote, Russia's sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, made a final appeal, releasing an open letter to the I.A.A.F. that had been sent privately on Wednesday. "Russia fully supports fighting doping," Mr. Mutko wrote, invoking stricter penalties and independent drug-testing of Russian athletes that had been conducted by authorities from the United Kingdom in recent months.

Those overtures were not enough.

In general, nations have been barred because of geopolitical considerations, not doping. After both world wars, the losing nations were kept out of the next Games. South Africa was barred from 1964 to 1988 because of its policies of apartheid. Yugoslavia was prevented from entering team events in 1992 because of United Nations penalties over the war in the Balkans.

Days before Friday's vote, the World Anti-Doping Agency released information calling into question the credibility of Russia's reforms. The agency said the testing authorities from the United Kingdom, in collecting urine samples, had been threatened by members of Russia's Federal Security Service and that many athletes — a significant number of them track and field competitors — had evaded authorities to escape being tested.

Many athletes outside Russia had agitated for the vote to happen as it did. In recent weeks, Olympians have called on sports officials to conduct further investigations into the extent of the cheating of which Russia has been accused, extending across the spectrum of sports.


A step-by-step look at how Russian agents used an elaborate scheme to swap out tainted urine samples for clean ones taken months earlier.

OPEN Graphic

"Athletes have been losing sleep," said Lauryn Williams, a track and field and bobsled athlete from the United States. "You can't have faith in anybody who is Russian."

Whistle-blowers have provided further details on the clandestine doping scheme the report described. Fearing for their safety, at least three of them have fled to the United States.

In Los Angeles, Russia's former antidoping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov told The New York Times that he had worked for years at the direction of the Russian government to ensure the country's dominance in international competition.

He said he provided a three-drug cocktail of banned substances and liquor to sports officials, who in turn provided those drugs to the country's top athletes. According to Dr. Rodchenkov, Russian athletes took that cocktail of anabolic steroids to prepare for the last Summer Olympics, in London in 2012. They stopped taking the drugs one or two weeks before they were due to be tested, he said, to avoid being caught.

"If you're fighting doping, Russia should be withdrawn from the Olympics," Dr. Rodchenkov said in Los Angeles last month. "Doping is everywhere. Many people in Russia don't want to tell the truth. Lies and fear are absolute."

Russian authorities have vehemently disputed Dr. Rodchenkov's account, calling it the "slander of a turncoat."

It is unclear whether the I.O.C. can or will overturn the I.A.A.F.'s blanket ban when it meets on Tuesday. The I.O.C.'s president, Thomas Bach, has emphasized in recent weeks "the difficult decision between collective responsibility and individual justice," suggesting the possibility that the I.O.C. can allow Russian athletes with clean histories to make it to Rio.

Still, Mr. Bach has also emphasized a "zero-tolerance" policy and said that if other Russian sports organizations are proved to be ridden with state-sponsored cheating, they, too, could be kept from the Olympics.

"Time is of the essence," Ms. Williams said.

Katie Uhlaender, a skeleton racer from the United States, said it was difficult to react to Friday's decision knowing the I.O.C. could amend it next week.

"If there are Russian athletes that can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they're clean, let them compete," she said. "But I literally started crying at the details of the Sochi scandal," she said, referring to Dr. Rodchenkov's account of having substituted out Russian athletes' dirty urine.

Ms. Uhlaender placed fourth at Sochi, losing by four-hundredths of a second to a Russian athlete.

"I'm fearful they're not going to do anything about Sochi," she said. "You put decades of your life into something with faith that people are playing by the same rules. I can't imagine being a summer athlete right now."

She wondered about the implications for winter sports, suggesting that because the current ban was sport specific, track and field athletes who also competed in winter events like bobsled or skeleton might focus on the chance to compete at the 2018 Winter Games.

"What does it even mean to ban Russia?" Ms. Uhlaender said. "Is sending them to their room or putting them in a timeout going to solve the problem?"

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