IOC: Total Rio Olympic ban on Russia unlikely

IOC president Thomas Bach said athletes from one sport should not be punished for the sins of those from another

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Athletes from one sport should not be punished for the sins of those from another, the IOC president said on Wednesday, cooling speculation that Russia could be banned from the Olympics altogether for systematic doping.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is due to issue a report on Monday covering its investigation into allegations that a Russian state-run system helped doped athletes escape detection at the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.

Travis Tygart, head of the United States’ Anti-Doping Agency, is one of several people who have said that if the report does confirm the allegations of systematic doping are true then Russia should be banned from the Rio Olympics.

Russia’s track and field athletes are already banned as a result of state-sponsored doping. However, Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said: “It is obvious you cannot sanction a badminton player for an infringement of the rules by an official or a lab director at the Winter Games.

“In the same way we would not consider sanctioning all athletes from a particular sport if there is manipulation of the rules by the leadership of a federation. “What we have to do is take decisions based on facts and to find the right balance between a collective responsibility and individual justice.”

Speaking on a conference call with international news agencies, Bach said he did not want to speculate about what measures could be taken until there is evidence of any proven infringement.

He added that the IOC was aware that several federations had already begun carrying out extra targeted tests on Russian athletes and made sure that their samples are tested outside the country in a bid to build confidence in the results.

One Russian athlete who could be competing in Rio is long jumper Darya Klishina, but it remains unclear which kit she will be wearing. Due to being based, and tested, in the United States, she was declared eligible by the IAAF, who suggested she be allowed to compete as a neutral athlete. Bach, however, indicated otherwise.

“She has been declared eligible by her international federation,” he said. “Now it is up to her National Olympic Committee to decide about her entry to the Games and then she would be a member of the Russian team.”

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