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IOC starts conference call on possible Olympics exclusion of Russia

Europe
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Berlin (dpa) - The executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday started a conference call to decide whether to ban the entire Russian team from the Rio de Janeiro Games over allegations of systematic and state-organized doping.

President Thomas Bach and the other 14 executives must decide whether they want to exclude an entire country for the first time over the doping issue.

It remains unclear when the IOC will communicate its decision, but it has said it will go public by Tuesday at the latest. The Rio Games start in less than a fortnight on August 5 and run until August 21.

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 complete ban for Russia‘s national Olympic Committee looms 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.

Legal issues are expected to play a key role in the decision-making of the IOC which must also see to protect possibly clean Russian athletes.

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