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Rio Olympics: IOC Backtracks On Russia Over Doping Scandal


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has soft pedal on Russia as it declared that the country will not be totally blanked out from the Rio 2016 due to doping scandal.

Instead of outright ban, IOC said it will leave the decision to individual sports’ governing bodies to decide if the Russian competitors have clean bill, therefore should be allowed to take part.

The latest partial ban decision was reached after a three-hour meeting of the IOC’s executive board and prompt, follow-up reaction.

In his reaction, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko described the decision as “objective” but “very tough”, while the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) claimed the IOC had “refused to take decisive leadership”.

However, the UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch argued: “The scale of the evidence in the McLaren report arguably pointed to the need for stronger sanctions rather than leaving it to the international Federations at this late stage.”

The Federations now have just 12 days to “carry out an individual analysis of each competitor’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specifies of each sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field”.

In the meantime, the International Tennis Federation quickly confirmed Sunday that Russia’s seven nominated tennis players met the IOC requirements, after being subjected to “a rigorous anti-doping testing programme outside Russia”.

This is in contrary to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which since ruled ruled that Russian track and field athletes will not compete at the Games, which kick off in August. This will automatically affect a total of 387 competitors ought to have participated in the Games.

IAAF President Lord Coe declared that teams were ready to offer advice to any International Sports Federations given the body’s experience and what it has learnt over the last eight months.”

On its own, the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) President Sir Craig Reedie stated previously that his organization, which commissioned the McLaren report, wanted the IOC to “decline entries for Rio 2016 of all athletes” by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic committees.

Beside its executive board’s decision, the IOC new stand was informed by Canadian Law Professor Richard McLaren-led report which confirmed that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

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