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Rio Olympics: IOC panel to have final say on Russian athletes

Rio Olympics: IOC panel to have final say on Russian athletes

Brazil

With just days to go until the Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) now says a three-person panel will have the final say on which Russian athletes can compete.

It is set to review decisions taken by international federations, in the wake of claims of state-backed doping.

The panel consists of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Modern Pentathlon President, Claudia Bokel, the athletes’ commission chairperson, and medial comissioner Ugur Erdener.

All Russian athletes sanctioned for doping in the past have been barred from the Games.

“Clearly, it will depend on each individual athlete, there isn’t a kind of, they won’t get them all together in one go. It will be an ad-hoc meeting right up until about during this week, I would think, or the week to come,” said Mark Adams, an IOC spokesman.

It was earlier this month, after the doping claims surfaced, that the IOC set criteria for the eligibility of Russians to compete in Rio.

They need to have been tested for drugs outside Russia – and have a spotless doping record – to be cleared by their respective international federations.

More than 250 athletes from the original team of 387 have so far been given the green light to take part in the Olympics.