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1ST LEAD IOC decides against full ban of Russian athletes from Rio Games By John Bagratuni, dpa

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday decided against a ban of all Russian athletes from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in connection with allegations of widespread and state-organised doping.

The IOC said after an executive board teleconference it will leave the final decision on Russians to compete at the August 5-21 Games to the international sports federations.

The IOC said that it will only accept Russian athletes who have met strict conditions set up by the IOC and which the federations must apply, and the consent of an arbitrator from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

It will accept no Russian athlete who has been sanctioned for doping rule offences in the past.

Russia‘s athletics team is already banned from competing in Rio over a ruling by the sport‘s governing body IAAF which was upheld on Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the only exception being United States-based long-jumper Darya Klishina.

Russia‘s Olympic Committee faced a blanket ban since Monday when World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commissioned report by its investigator Richard McLaren spoke of doping in various Russian sports, and manipulation of test samples from Russian athletes during the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

There had been plenty of calls for a blanket ban and IOC president Thomas Bach himself had said "the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated" but the IOC eventually shied away from the harshest sanction.

Instead it set up a list of criteria the federations must apply to allow Russians to Rio, such as application of the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles, and that a clean domestic doping record alone is not good enough.

"The IOC will not accept any entry of any Russian athlete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 unless such athlete can meet the conditions set out," the IOC said.

Once accepted, Russian athletes will "be subject to a rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant IF and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC."

The IOC executives meanwhile turned down the bid by Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, an 800-metres runner, to compete as a neutral athlete because she herself was caught doping before denouncing these practices.

It followed a recommendation by the IOC ethics committee which said: "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."

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