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IOC sends clarification later to federations over Russians

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has sent a clarification letter to international sports federation to clarify eligibility criteria for Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics, which start Friday.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Wednesday that an IOC panel having the final saying on the matter "is seeking clarification ... so that the correct decisions are made" as far as a ban for athletes is concerned.

"We asked the federations ‘are you sure‘ and they said ‘no‘ - It proves the panel is doing a proper job."

Russian athletes are subject to individual proceedings via their federations, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the IOC if they want to compete in Rio, after a report from WADA investigator Richard McLaren exposed widespread and state-sponsored doping practices in Russia as well as tampering with test samples.

The Australian paper and other reports said that evidence from McLaren was inconclusive and that athletes were implicated though they appear to be not guilty, prompting federations to seek clarity in the matter.

Adams said the matter showed "the dangers working from a report which isn‘t finished yet. We need to have final report before a final ruling."

McLaren is to finalize his report after the Rio Games, after which the IOC will decide on Russia.

By now, Russian swimmers Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov, and sailor Pavel Sozykin have been cleared after initially appearing in the McLaren report, and are expected to be among more than 250 Russian athletes eligible for the August 5-21 Games.

It appears as if the IOC will announce the eligible Russians by mid-morning Thursday in Rio.

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