IOC opens door to possible Russian athletes at Rio Olympics
Certain Russian track and field athletes who are deemed eligible to compete at the 2016 Olympics will be able to do so under their own flag in Rio, IOC President Thomas Bach announced on Tuesday morning.
Russia will uphold the ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field's governing body, on Russia's track and field athletes. On Saturday, the IOC said they “fully respected” the IAAF's decision.
Russian athletes that hope to compete in Rio will be subject to an individual doping evaluation from an independent lab before they are allowed to compete.
President Vladimir Putin called Russia's ban from the Olympics as “unfair” but Bach said he had not been in contact with Putin since the decision.
The doping ban for the track and field team comes as the IOC is also investigating the Russians for a reported doping cover-up by athletes, coaches and officials that took place at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russia topped the medal table in Sochi with 33 medals. The review is expected to conclude in July before a decision is made whether or not the entire country will be allowed to compete at Olympics.
Russia's track and field team has been suspended from competition since a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered evidence of systemic and rampant doping by track and field athletes, coaches and senior officials.
- Chris Chavez