IOC panel to have final say on Russian athletes cleared for Rio

Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:09pm EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A three-member International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel will have the final say on which Russian athletes can compete at the Rio Games, reviewing all decisions taken by the international federations, the IOC said on Saturday.

The IOC earlier this month set criteria for Russians to be eligible to compete in Rio after revelations of state-backed doping in the country.

They needed to have been tested for drugs outside Russia and have a spotless doping record with no previous bans in order to be cleared by their respective international federations.

All Russian athletes sanctioned for doping in the past have been excluded from the Games.

The IOC panel consists of Ugur Erdener, the IOC's medical commission chairman, Claudia Bokel, head of the athletes commission and fellow IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., vice president of the Modern Pentathlon federation.

The trio will take the final decision once Court of Arbitration for Sport arbitrators have reviewed the cases individually, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters.

"There is not a blanket decision. It is about individual athletes," Adams said. "It is important the IOC takes the final decision based on independent advice."

He said the process would be completed by Friday, the day the Games open.   Continued...

Jul 30, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; People take pictures at the Olympic rings in the Olympic Park prior to the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports