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Sports

Russia to bar athletes with past doping offences from Rio Olympics

Russia's athletics federation had said that any athlete found to have doped in previous years would be denied a ticket to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Doping re-tests from the Beijing Games have implicated 14 Russians.

"Any potential participant in the Olympic Games caught using doping in previous years cannot be a member of Russia's national team at Rio," Russia's athletics federation said in a statement on Tuesday. The federation said it had implemented this selection policy on May 20, "so that clean athletes can take part in the 2016 Olympic Games."

Russia's Olympic fate remains in question, with world athletics' governing body, the IAAF, set to decide in June whether Russia has done enough to be readmitted to competition and the Rio Games. Russian athletes

have been suspended from competition

since an international investigation uncovered damning evidence of systematic doping last November.

Fourteen Russians fall foul of Beijing re-tests

Also on Tuesday, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said that 14 of its Beijing athletes had tested positive in a series of re-tests dating back to the 2008 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had said last week that, worldwide,

31 athletes from 12 sporting disciplines had failed doping re-tests

using their Beijing samples.

Russland Putin und Mutko

Sports Minister Mutko (l.) urged reporters to wait for secondary test results

"Fourteen Russian athletes in three disciplines gave a positive result," the ROC said in its statement, saying that it would not name the potential offenders until a second set of control samples had been analyzed. Several Russian media outlets released a list of 14 supposed offenders, including high-jump Beijing bronze medalist Anna Chicherova, who is likely to compete this summer in Rio. Several other medalists were named. The information could not be immediately verified, however, and Russia's sports minister said it would be unfair to name and shame before further testing.

"It's a sensitive topic, why someone does this, I don't know," Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said of the leaked list, without denying its authenticity. "It's wrong to name names if a person could be found not guilty."

The IOC declined to comment on an ongoing process; it is also expected to announce the results of re-tests from the 2012 London Games later this week.

msh/mg (AFP, Retuers)

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