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Artist impression of Olympic Rings in Rio
Artist impression of Olympic Rings in Rio

BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday decided not to impose a blanket ban on Russia from the Rio Olympic Games and let each summer sports International Federation (IF) determine an athlete's eligibility.

IOC President Thomas Bach and the other 14 executive board members met on Sunday to further study the question of the participation of Russian athletes in the Rio 2016, which is set to officially open on Aug. 5.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has already approved a 387-member team for Rio.

After deliberating, the IOC executive board made such a decision that "entry will be accepted by the IOC only if an athlete is able to provide evidence to the full satisfaction of his or her IF in relation to the following criteria."

First, The IFs, when establishing their pool of eligible Russian athletes, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles agreed by the Olympic Summit (21 June 2016).

Second, The absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs.

Third, the IFs should carry out an individual analysis of each athlete's anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete's sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field.

Fourth, the IFs to examine the inofrmation contained in the Independent Person (IP) Report, and for such purpose seek from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the names of athletes and National Federations (NFs) implicated. Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games.

Fifth, the IFs will also have to apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs.

Furthermore, the IOC said in its official statement, "The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction."

"The entry of any Russian athlete utlimately accepted by the IOC will be subject to a rigorous additinoal out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant IF and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC," the statement added.

"Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by the IOC following the final report of the IP and due legal procedure by the IOC Disciplinary Commission established on July 19, 2016," it said.

The IOC pushed off a decision last Monday after WADA issued a statement recommending IOC to suspend the whole Russian team from the 2016 Olympics due to an IP Report that accused Russia of running a "state-dictated failsafe system" of drug cheating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and other major events.

The IP Report was made by WADA's Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

Russia's track and field team is already barred from Rio 2016 by the sport's world governing body, IAAF, over drug cheating.

The IOC said it needed to seek out legal path to a collective ban after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected the appeal by Russian track and field federation and 67 athletes against their Olympic exclusion.

The key issue was whether the extent of the cheating in Russia gave the IOC grounds to punish athletes with no positive drug tests on their record.

"We will have to take a very difficult decision between a collective ban for all Russian athletes and the natural right to individual justice for every clean athlete in the world," Bach said.

Officials in Moscow led by Russian President Vladimir Putin had vowed to crack down on doping while rejecting the validity of a blanket ban.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, a central figure in the WADA report who has already been barred from Rio by the IOC, told the TASS news agency that "the principle of collective responsibility should not triumph".

On Wednesday, IOC member and former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound told BBC that the IOC is "very reluctant" to ban Russia from the Rio Games.

Pound said, "If you are going to do something as dramatic as suspend an entire team you want to make sure that you don't trip over some legal hurdle that you haven't thought of."

If the IOC banned Russia from Rio, it would be the first time a country had been excluded since 1988, when South Africa's IOC suspension over apartheid was in force.


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