Russian athletes' hopes of competing in the Rio Olympics are now at the mercy of the IOC after the world athletics' governing body unanimously upheld its ban on the country for alleged systematic doping on Friday, saying not enough progress had been made in reform.
Russia, a superpower of track and field, had lobbied furiously to avert the prospect of a Summer Olympics athletics program taking place without its athletes, and argued that it was taking all the steps required of it to dispel charges of state-sponsored drug abuse.
President Vladimir Putin denied Friday that Russian authorities had ever colluded in doping, and urged authorities not to use sport to push an anti-Russian agenda. His spokesman vowed legal steps to defend Russian athletes against a ban.
But after a meeting of the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF, in Vienna, its president Sebastian Coe told reporters: "Some progress has been made, but not enough ... The decision was unanimous—politics did not play a part in that room today."
Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing Russia's attempts to reform, said that a "deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed".
"No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag," he said.
However, the International Olympic Committee, concerned about innocent athletes being punished, has not ruled out granting Russian athletes a special dispensation.