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1ST LEAD IOC's Bach says complete Russian Rio ban unfair By dpa correspondents

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - IOC president Thomas Bach believes that banning all Russians from August‘s Rio Olympics would be unfair even if a report rules that Russia manipulated doping tests at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

A World Anti-Doping Agency Commission will announce its findings into the Sochi allegations before July 15. Russian track and field athletes are already banned following a separate WADA report, although clean athletes may still be able to compete.

"The mandate of the investigation refers to the Winter Olympics in Sochi," the head of the International Olympic Committee told German media on Thursday.

"You can not for example punish a Russian badminton player if you penalize possible manipulation at the WADA laboratories at the Winter Games in Sochi."

German Bach has been accused by critics in his homeland of being too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he said he was simply being an effective IOC president.

"When you talk about me in Germany as a ‘person who understands the Russians‘, I take that as a compliment because if you do not at least try to understand other cultures, other ways of thinking, other interests, there is no place for you in an international organization with 206 National Olympic Committees, let alone leading it," he said.

"Here again we talk about fairness. The fact is we have of course worked very well together with Russia and Mr. Putin in the preparation and the organization of the Winter Olympics."

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