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Individual decisions

No blanket ban for Russia at Olympics

The Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not introduce a blanket ban on Russian competitors at the next Olympic Games.

In an announcement on Sunday, the IOC said it will leave it to the governing bodies of individual sports to take a decision on each Russian competitor. The athletes will have to fulfill certain stipulations set out by the IOC.

The IOC came to this conclusion for the Olympic Games after a report from the Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren. He claimed that Russia had run a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

The games are due to start on August 5 in Rio. In a statement published online, the IOC said they supported McLaren’s work and his request to continue, but added “this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations”.

Russia will however be banned from entering any athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping.

Jörg Schild, president of Swiss Olympic, expressed his utter frustration at the chosen course of action in a statement. “I am astonished that the IOC suddenly does not want to take a decision, instead leaving it to the individual sports associations. I am disappointed that the IOC lacks any leadership in this matter. And I’m angry that the IOC itself does nothing when Russia cheats the other national Olympic committees around the world.”

The president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said in a telephone press conference on Sunday, that they guaranteed “full cooperation with all international organisations” and that “all Russian athletes selected for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 have been tested over the last six months by foreign anti-doping agencies”.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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