Olympics: IOC confirms 'support' for IAAF decision to maintain Russia's ban

IOC president Thomas Bach added that if IAAF allows "special clearance" for any clean Russian athletes to compete, it will be under the Russian flag, and not the Olympic or neutral one.
IOC president Thomas Bach added that if IAAF allows "special clearance" for any clean Russian athletes to compete, it will be under the Russian flag, and not the Olympic or neutral one.PHOTO: EPA

LAUSANNE (REUTERS) - The International Olympic Committee have confirmed their "respect and approval and support" for the International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) decision to uphold Russia's track-and-field athletes from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

In a statement, IOC president Thomas Bach added that if IAAF allows "special clearance" for any clean Russian athletes to compete, it will be under the Russian flag, and not the Olympic or neutral one.

The Olympic governing body chief also expressed "serious doubts" over the presumed innocence of any Russian or Kenyan athletes. Bach said any athletes from these two doping-tainted nations, will need to be declared eligible by their respective sport's international federations in order to compete at Rio.

 
 

Earlier on Tuesday (June 21), elite sports powerbrokers had gathered at the IOC headquarters in Switzerland to discuss further crackdowns on drug cheats before the Rio Games.

International athletics boss Sebastian Coe and Russia's Olympic committee chief Alexander Zhukov were present at the meeting to discuss the situation in Russia as well as several other countries non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Russia had made a final appeal to the IOC to reconsider the ban.

In an address to the IOC president Thomas Bach, Zhukov said: "We are extremely disappointed by the decision of the IAAF Council to ban Russian track and field athletes from international competition, including the Olympic Games in Rio.

"We consider it unfair on the vast majority of our athletes who have never doped and have not violated any criteria."

He added: "Do you really think it is fair to make it impossible for (pole-vaulter) Yelena Isinbayeva and (hurdler) Sergey Shubenkov to participate in the Olympic Games which will be attended by Tyson Gay and twice-disqualified Justin Gatlin?

"From the perspective of Russian athletes, it is an extreme injustice and humiliation."

Zhukov said the clean athletes will appeal the IAAF decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.