The International Olympic Committee has upheld a partial ban on the Russian Olympic team’s participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics after a widespread state sanctioned doping scandal was confirmed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but will not stop the entire country from participating. The ban that applies to Russia’s track and field Olympic team has not been lifted.
Russian athletes will have to apply individually to their International Federation (IF) and meet a number of strict criteria to be allowed to participate in the summer games, the IOC announced today (Sunday, July 24) only 12 days before the Olympics are set to start in Rio de Janeiro.
“Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the “presumption of innocence” cannot be applied to them,” the IOC said.
Among other criteria the IF will have to carry out an “analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record,” and “[t]he absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs.”
The IOC said the call was a “preliminary decision” that had to made because of the urgency created by of the impending games and the fact that athlete’s entry process has already begun.