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25 July 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Russia not given blanket Games ban by IOC

olympicsRussia will not receive a blanket ban from Rio 2016 following the country’s doping scandal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will leave it up to individual sports’ governing bodies to decide if Russian competitors are clean and should be allowed to take part.

The decision follows a report in which Canadian law professor Richard McLaren said Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

The Rio Games start on 5 August.

Competitors from Russia who want to take part in the Games will have to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC.

And any Russian athlete who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for next month’s Olympics.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “We have set the bar to the limit by establishing a number of very strict criteria which every Russian athlete will have to fulfil if he or she wants to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

“I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete.”

World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) president Sir Craig Reedie said previously his organisation, which commissioned the McLaren report, wanted the IOC to “decline entries for Rio 2016 of all athletes” submitted by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic committees.

The IOC also confirmed it will not allow whistleblower Yulia Stepanova to compete as a neutral athlete in Rio.

Stepanova has previously failed a doping test and also did not satisfy the IOC’s “ethical requirements”.

The IOC statement added: “The executive board would like to express its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport.”

How the Russian doping allegations unfolded

December 2014: A German TV documentary alleges as many as 99% of Russian athletes are guilty of doping. Wada announces an independent commission to investigate the allegations.

9 November 2015: Russia should be banned from athletics completion and were guilty of state-sponsored, systemic doping practices, says Wada’s independent commission.

13 November 2015: IAAF provisionally suspends Russia’s athletics federation from international competition.

27 June 2016: 67 Russian athletes appeal against their bans from this summer’s Rio Olympics to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

18 July 2016: Wada’s McLaren report claims Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

21 July 2016: Cas rejects the appeal of Russian athletes who attempted to overturn their suspension from this summer’s Olympics.

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