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1ST LEAD IOC leaves Olympics door open to clean Russian athletes under own flag By Claas Hennig, dpa

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has left the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete under their own flag at the Rio Games despite the continuing ban of the nation‘s track and field team.

The IOC at an Olympic summit in Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, said that with the suspension not applying to Russia‘s National Olympic Committee some Russian athletes could compete on condition they could prove they were not doped.

The athletes must have undergone or will undergo doping tests outside Russia‘s anti-doping system, the IOC said while stating it had "serious doubts" athletes from non-compliant countries such as Russia and Kenya were clean.

IOC president Thomas Bach said athletes would have to be individually evaluated and declared eligible by their sport‘s international federation.

Any athletes who succeed in their appeal would compete under the Russian flag, not an Olympic or neutral one.

It follows the decision Friday by the international athletics federation IAAF to uphold the ban on Russian athletics, ruling the track and field team out of the Rio Games.

In its ruling Friday, the IAAF council said athletes who can prove that they are clean can apply to compete in Rio de Janeiro as "neutral" competitors.

Russia is meanwhile to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against its Olympics suspension, the head of its Olympic committee, Alexander Zhukov, said in Lausanne.

The appeal is in the name of all athletes who have never violated anti-doping rules, Zhukov said.

Russia will not boycott the Olympics but could file a lawsuit against the IAAF, Zhukov was reported as saying by Russia‘s Tass news agency.

The Olympics anti-doping summit underlined its support for the IAAF suspension and called on World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to convene a world conference on doping in 2017 and for sports federations to sanction coaches, doctors and officials involved in doping as well as athletes.

It urged international sports federatios and national Olympic committees to keep doped athletes away from the Rio Games.

Federations were urged to take swift action to suspend all athletes who have infringed anti-doping rules following the re-testing programme of samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

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