IOC panel to have final say on which Russian athletes can compete at Rio Olympics | News | DW | 31.07.2016
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IOC panel to have final say on which Russian athletes can compete at Rio Olympics

An IOC panel has been selected to make a final decision on the participation of individual Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics. The move comes after revelations of state-sponsored doping.

A three-member International Olympic Committee panel will make a final ruling on which Russian athletes will be able to compete at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, the IOC said Saturday as it met for the final time before the opening of the games next Friday.

After revelations of state-backed doping, the IOC said earlier this month that for Russian athletes to be eligible to compete in Rio, they needed to have been tested for drugs outside of Russia and have a clean doping record with no previous bans.

The IOC panel consists of three executive board members: Ugur Erdener, the IOC medical commission chairman, Claudia Bokel, head of the athletes commission, and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., vice president of the Modern Pentathlon Federation.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the panel will rule on the Russians after judges from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) examines the Russian athletes put forward by the respective sports federations.

"This panel will decide whether to accept or reject that final proposal" by CAS, Adams said. "We must make the final decision."

"There is not a blanket decision. It is about individual athletes," Adams said. "It is important the IOC takes the final decision based on independent advice."

Adams said the review process for Russian athletes would be completed by Friday, the day the games are set to open.

No blanket ban

The review is taking place amid a state doping scandal that has led to more than 100 Russian athletes being banned.

A week ago, the IOC decided not to ban Russia's entire team from the games. It rejected calls by more than a dozen anti-doping agencies for a complete ban on Russia, and left it to the federations to vet which athletes could compete or not.

So far, more than 250 Russian athletes have been cleared to compete by the federations, but 67 track and field athletes have been barred as a whole by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

On Friday, Russia's eight-member weightlifting team was banned for what the international federation called "extremely shocking" doping results that brought the sport into "disrepute."

bw/cmk (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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