April 23, 2016

BERLIN (AP) Russia's sports minister is arguing in an interview with a German magazine that his country's athletes have a ''moral right'' to take part in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF council is expected to rule on the fate of Russian athletes in mid-June. Russia is banned from international track and field after its athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF in November following allegations of state-sponsored and systematic doping made by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted Saturday as telling the German weekly Der Spiegel that Russia has ''done everything'' to be reinstated. He said: ''Our athletes have the moral right to be in Rio.''

Asked whether the entire Russian team would boycott the Olympics if athletes are excluded, he replied: ''No.''

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