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Rio 2016: Russia escapes blanket ban

Rio 2016: Russia escapes blanket ban


The International Olympic Committee said on Sunday it will not impose a blanket ban on Russia for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The IOC decided that responsibility for ruling on the eligibility of Russians remains with individual international federations.

Thomas Bach, IOC President said

“We decided that the presumption of innocence cannot be applied to Russian athletes. The international sports federations will carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record taking into account only reliable international tests. That means Russian tests cannot be taken into consideration. Every human being is entitled to individual justice. There we have set the bar to the absolute limit for how Russian athletes can achieve to compete in Rio. All of them have to meet individually this number of very strict criteria we have established today”

The decision was welcomed by Russian athletes and authorities.

Russia’s Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, said he was grateful to the International Olympic Committee for not imposing a blanket ban on Russians.

“Today I would like to say that we are satisfied with the decision. I hope our Russian national team – and they are training – will perform well at the Olympics. We will be happy for them and their victories, too. This is an interesting and young team that has good potential”

Mutko said he hoped the majority of international sports federations would now support the rights of Russian sports people hoping to compete at the Games in August.

The IOC rejected whistleblower, Yulia Stepanova’s bid to participate in the Rio games as a neutral athlete under a new regulation banning any Russian who has previously served a doping ban.

Stepanova, an 800m runner served a two-year drug ban from 2011 to 2013.

She was cleared by the IAAF to compete as a neutral athlete and returned to the European Championships this month.