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.''
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)