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1ST LEAD Discus champ Harting and IOC boss Bach rage over Russia ruling By Frank Thomas and Michael Brehme, dpa

Europe
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Kienbaum (dpa) - The decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to ban all Russian athletes from the forthcoming Rio Games has led to a furious war of words between discus champion Robert Harting and IOC president Thomas Bach.

"He is part of the doping system for me, not of the anti-doping system. I feel ashamed for him," the German Harting, who won gold at London 2012, said at a media event in Kienbaum on Tuesday.

"I have often voiced by disappointment over Thomas Bach. But this here is a new dimension of disappointment."

The IOC on Sunday decided to allow Russian athletes to Rio if they were picked by their respective sports federations under strict criteria - despite allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in the country by the World Anti-Doping Agency which had recommended a full ban.

But Bach hit back at Harting in an interview with dpa Tuesday saying it was an "unacceptable lapse" to "insult someone who is not of the same opinion as you in such a manner."

"All those who argue like that should consider just how many (bodies) have many approved these decisions. Confederations, athletes‘ commissions, (and) in the IOC executive board the decision was unanimous with one abstention.

"There are different opinions here. You have to accept that, you have to live with it. But it is not acceptable to insult someone like that."

Harting also joined the large number of critics of the IOC over their decision to not allow Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova to run in Rio.

"That is not right. She has prevented so much damage for the world of athletics. Her start would have been a slap in the face of Mr Putin. That‘s why it is not happening," Harting said in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bach "strictly rejected" any implication his relationship with Putin had impacted the decision and said that Stepanova had benefitted enough by only being banned for two years having previously been a part of the doping herself.

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