BWF clears four Russians for Rio, awaits 'IOC validation'
(Reuters) - The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has included four Russian players in the draws for next month's Rio de Janeiro Games, "pending the validation of the International Olympic Committee".
Following the IOC's decision on Sunday not to issue a blanket ban on Russians despite evidence of systematic doping, global sporting federations have been left to decide which athletes can compete at the Rio Games.
The BWF held the draws for the Rio Games on Tuesday and included Vladimir Malkov and Natalia Perminova in the men's and women's singles as well as the men's doubles partnership of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.
"We have had a rigid drug-testing programme, especially leading up to Rio 2016 and all four Russian athletes have been tested in and out of competition and their samples have been analyzed outside of Russia," Secretary General Thomas Lund said during the draw.
"We believe the information that we have provided on these athletes lives up to the criteria for participation in the Badminton Competition at Rio 2016, but it is left for the IOC to validate.
"We have chosen to keep them in the draw, pending that validation."
The badminton competition at the Rio Olympics takes place from Aug. 11-20.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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