Russia escapes complete Olympic ban
Rejecting calls by anti-doping officials for a complete ban on Russia, Olympic leaders yesterday gave individual global sports federations the task of deciding which athletes should be cleared to compete in next month's Rio de Janeiro Games.
Citing the need to protect the rights of individual athletes, the International Olympic Committee decided against taking the unprecedented step of excluding Russia's entire team over allegations of state-sponsored doping. Instead, the IOC left it to 27 sports federations to make the call on a case-by-case basis.
"Every human being is entitled to individual justice," IOC President Thomas Bach said after the ruling of his 15-member executive board.
At the same time, Bach said the IOC had decided on a set of "very tough criteria" that could dent Russia's overall contingent and medal hopes in Rio, where the Olympics will open on August 5.
Under the measures, no Russian athletes who have ever had a doping violation will be allowed into the games, whether or not they have served a sanction, a rule that has not applied to athletes in other countries.
In addition, the international sports federations were ordered to check each Russian athlete's drug-testing record, with only doping controls conducted outside Russia counting towards eligibility, before authorising them to compete. Final entry is contingent on approval from an independent sports arbitrator.