IOC backs IAAF decision to uphold Russian athlete ban

Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:25am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ended any slim hopes that Russian athletes might have had of competing at the Rio Games in August by backing the IAAF's decision to extend its ban on the country for systematic doping on Saturday.

The IOC said in a statement it "fully respects" Friday's ruling by world athletics' governing body (IAAF) to maintain its suspension of the Russians.

The IOC added "the eligibility of athletes in any international competition including the Olympic Games is a matter for the respective international federation."

That was exactly what IAAF president Sebastian Coe said on Friday after the IAAF Council voted unanimously to retain the ban on Russia competing in any athletics events.

Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing

Russia's attempts to reform, said on Friday that a "deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed".

"No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag," he

said.

He and Coe will therefore be relieved that the IOC came to the same conclusion after a teleconference of its executive committee on Saturday.   Continued...

 
Journalists are seen near a logo of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at a hotel where the IAAF council holds a meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger