Europe

Putin condemns Russian athletes ban at Rio as unfair

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with heads of international news agencies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with heads of international news agencies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a joint news conference with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2016. (Sergei Savostyanov/TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a joint news conference with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2016. (Sergei Savostyanov/TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned as unfair Friday's decision by the IAAF to uphold a ban on competition for Russian track and field athletes.

Speaking to foreign media at a late evening round-table on Friday Putin said the IAAF — track's world governing body — meted out "collective" punishment that has hurt clean athletes.

In an unprecedented ruling loaded with geopolitical ramifications, the IAAF on Friday upheld its ban on Russia's track and field federation, saying the country had made some progress in cleaning up but failed to meet the requirements for reinstatement and would be barred from sending its athletes to the Rio Games that begin in 50 days.