The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to leave it up to individual sports’ federations to decide whether Russian competitors are clean from doping and should be allowed to take part in 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
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Competitors from Russia who want to take part in the Games will have to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC, the IOC executive board said in a statement after a meeting on Sunday.
The 28 individual federations that comprise the summer Olympic Games must ‘carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete’s sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field”, according to the statement.
The decision follows a report of an independent commission of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in which Canadian law professor Richard McLaren said that Russia had operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.
Following the report, WADA recommended the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations to ban Russian athletes from all international competitions, including the Rio Olympics.
Russian Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko said that they were thankful to the IOC for its decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russia for the Olympics.
“We are thankful to the IOC for allowing Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics,” he said. “I am sure most of the members of the Russian team can meet the IOC criteria,” TASS quoted Mutko as saying on Sunday.
The 31st Summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 through 21.
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