Vitaly Mutko has failed in a last ditch attempt to have the Russian athletics ban from Rio 2016 lifted, with the county's outspoken Sports Minister also confirming he will not be attending the Olympic Games.
Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out an appeal lodged by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 athletes, who were hoping to overturn the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ban.
The IAAF Council had unanimously voted in favour of keeping the suspension of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) in place after receiving a damning report in June, which found that "several important verification criteria have not yet been fully satisfied".
An IAAF Task Force had set 44 specific criteria that needed to be met in order for the sanction to be lifted, which followed revelations of widespread state-sponsored doping within Russian track and field.
The ARAF were initially suspended in November following the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) explosive Independent Commission report which detailed numerous offences.
Despite the IAAF ban and the damning findings in Richard McLaren’s report into alleged state sponsored doping, which showed the Sports Ministry "directed, controlled and oversaw" a "unique" method of sample manipulation at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Russia avoided a blanket ban from Rio 2016.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board instead left it up to International Federations to decide on athlete eligibility.
Mutko has now confirmed that he sent a letter to IAAF President Sebastien Coe in a bid to have the athletics ban lifted, but his request was rebuffed.
"I have received an answer from Coe," Mutko told the Russian news agency TASS.
"The earlier made decision remained in force."
The ban from athletics was also criticised by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with members of the country’s Olympic team at the Kremlin today.
Putin alleged that “short-sighted politicians” had started “meddling in sport” and claimed there was a campaign against Russian athletes.
“This campaign that targets our country’s athletes includes the use of notorious double standards and the principle of collective responsibility, or, as was said, reversal of the presumption of innocence, which is not compatible with sport and not compatible with justice and basic legal norms in general,” Putin said.
“We get the impression that those who speak this way do not even understand what they are saying.
“We cannot agree with the blanket disqualification of our track and field athletes who have, I want to stress, an absolutely clean doping record.
“We will not and cannot accept this kind of open discrimination.”
Putin is reportedly not set to attend the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016 and his Sports Minister has now followed in confirming his absence, telling a press conference in Moscow he would not travel to the Games.
The IOC Executive Board had announced, as part of their decision to allow Russian athletes to compete at Rio 2016, that sports officials who had been mentioned in the McLaren report would not be granted accreditation.
McLaren had claimed it was "inconceivable" Mutko was not aware of the programme, while his now suspended deputy Yuri Nagornykh was found to have ordered the collection of clean urine samples.
Thirty sports were alleged to have been implicated in the swapping of samples to conceal positive tests, including summer ones not normally linked with doping like sailing, taekwondo and table tennis, and Paralympic sports.