No blanket ban for Russia at Rio Games

Russia could still have representation at the 2016 Rio Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against a complete ban on the country.

It means the European nation could still send competitors in sports like archery, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and volleyball, among others, to compete at the Rio Games.

However, it is not yet cut and dried as the IOC has revealed “it is up to individual sport’s governing bodies to determine if Russian competitors are clean” and should be allowed to compete at the Games.

In a statement the IOC said that “Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the ‘presumption of innocence’ cannot be applied to them.

“On the other hand, according to the rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied. This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.”

Russian athletes will also have to meet strict additional out-of-competition testing programme if they are to compete at Rio.

The statement added: “The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.”

Furthermore, the IOC has banned Russian doping whistle blower Yulia Stepanova.

“While it is true that Mrs Stepanova’s testimony and public statements have made a contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of sport, the Rules of the Olympic Charter related to the organisation of the Olympic Games run counter to the recognition of the status of neutral athlete,” the report said.

“Furthermore, the sanction to which she was subject and the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself, do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games.”

The IAAF earlier this year banned all Russian track and field athletes from competition after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping.

Russia appealed against the decision, but the ruling was upheld at the Court for Arbitration of Sport earlier this week.

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