Total Russia Rio ban unlikely, suggests IOC head Bach

Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:57pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - Athletes from one sport should not be punished for the sins of those from another, the IOC president said on Wednesday, cooling speculation that Russia could be banned from the Olympics altogether for systematic doping.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is due to issue a report on Monday covering its investigation into allegations that a Russian state-run system helped doped athletes escape detection at the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.

Travis Tygart, head of the United States' Anti-Doping Agency, is one of several people who have said that if the report does confirm the allegations of systematic doping are true then Russia should be banned from the Rio Olympics.

Russia's track and field athletes are already banned as a result of state-sponsored doping.

However, Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said: "It is obvious you cannot sanction a badminton player for an infringement of the rules by an official or a lab director at the Winter Games.

"In the same way we would not consider sanctioning all athletes from a particular sport if there is manipulation of the rules by the leadership of a federation.

"What we have to do is take decisions based on facts and to find the right balance between a collective responsibility and individual justice."

Speaking on a conference call with international news agencies, Bach said he did not want to speculate about what measures could be taken until there is evidence of any proven infringement.   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach gives a news conference after the Olympic Summit on doping in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse