IOC to de­cide on Rus­sia at Rio 2016

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

THE In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) says a three-per­son panel will have the fi­nal say on which Rus­sian ath­letes can com­pete at the Rio Games.

Last week the IOC said in­di­vid­ual sports’ gov­ern­ing bod­ies must de­cide if Rus­sian com­peti­tors are clean amid claims of state-spon­sored dop­ing.

But it now says the newly con­vened panel “will de­cide whether to ac­cept or re­ject that fi­nal pro­posal”.

More than 250 Rus­sian ath­letes have so far been cleared to com­pete.

The three-per­son panel com­prises Ugur Er­dener, pres­i­dent of World Archery and head of the IOC med­i­cal and sci­en­tific com­mis­sion, Clau­dia Bokel of the IOC ath­letes com­mis­sion, and Spanish IOC mem­ber Juan An­to­nio Sa­ma­ranch Jr, son of the ex-IOC pres­i­dent of the same name.

The World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (Wada) had rec­om­mended all Rus­sian ath­letes be banned af­ter its in­de­pen­dently com­mis­sioned re­port found ev­i­dence of a four-year “dop­ing pro­gramme” across the “vast ma­jor­ity” of Olympic sports.

The IOC stopped short of ap­ply­ing a blan­ket ban in a move crit­i­cised by Wada and oth­ers, while swim­mers Vladimir Moro­zov and Nikita Lobint­sev have be­come the first Rus­sian ath­letes to ap­peal against their ban to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport. The Olympics start in Rio on Fri­day. Mean­while, Rus­sian whistle­blower Yu­lia Stepanova has asked again for the IOC to re­assess her ex­clu­sion from Rio.

The 800m run­ner’s tes­ti­mony helped shed light on the scale of dop­ing in Rus­sian sport, and she was to com­pete un­der a neu­tral flag in Rio.

But the IOC ruled that she should not be al­lowed to take part as she had pre­vi­ously failed a dop­ing test.

In a let­ter to the IOC on Satur­day, Stepanova and her hus­band Vi­taly asked the body to “re­assess the de­ci­sion on Yu­lia”.

The IOC re­sponded by say­ing it had re­jected any re­view of her case and had not dis­cussed the mat­ter at its ex­ec­u­tive board meet­ing.

“The fi­nal de­ci­sion has been taken al­ready,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. — BBC Sport

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