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IOC to decide on Russia Rio ban


IOCThe International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday it would decide “within seven days” on whether to ban Russia from the Rio Games over rampant state-run doping.

“We expect (to have) a decision within seven days on the participation of Russian competitors in Rio,” IOC media relations chief Emmanuelle Moreau told AFP.

The Games in Rio de Janeiro open on Aug 5.

The IOC has faced growing calls to hit Russia with an outright ban after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency found the country ran an elaborate cheating programme at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and other major events.

Following an emergency conference on Tuesday, the IOC’s executive board said it would study the “legal options” regarding a prospective Russia suspension.

It would be an unprecedented move, as no country has been excluded from an Olympics over doping.

IOC leaders said they would consider a decision due Thursday from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on a previously imposed ban by athletics governing body International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) against Russia’s track field and team.

That ban followed similar revelations of rampant doping with support from Moscow.

Sixty-eight Russian athletes have appealed to CAS challenging the IAAF’s right to punish an entire national federation, since some team members have no positive drug tests on their record.

The CAS ruling on the validity of collective punishment is expected to help guide the IOC’s decision on Russia’s eligibility for Rio.

Moreau said IOC leaders would have further talks on the Russia dispute in the coming days, following the CAS ruling.AFP