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Russian sailor Sozykin cleared to compete at Rio Olympics

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Russian sailor Pavel Sozykin should be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics, the world sailing body said Wednesday, reversing an earlier decision.

"It was the unanimous decision of the participating World Sailing board members to declare Mr Sozykin eligible to compete in Rio 2016," the organization said in a statement.

Sports federations have to decide which Russians can compete in Brazil, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against a blanket ban on all Russian athletes over allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping.

A total of seven Russian sailors qualified for Rio.

Six were provisionally approved last month for participation in the August 5-21 Games, but the world sailing board had at the time blocked Sozykin, who raced to third place in last year‘s 470 class world championship.

It reconsidered its decision on Wednesday after receiving further guidance from the IOC.

Although Sozykin tested positive for doping, it is unclear whether this occurred in competition or out of competition, the world sailing body said. The substance he tested positive for is not prohibited out of competition.

The decision to allow Sozykin to compete in the 470 class must still be confirmed by the IOC.

The world sailing board said it would "closely monitor the continued investigation into the allegation regarding Mr Sozykin," noting that he could be disqualified from results dating back to October 2014 if it eventually is found that a doping violation occurred.

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