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MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee confirmed to TASS on Thursday that Russian weightlifters could be banned from taking part in all competitions ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.
"The IOC is working hard to finish all disciplinary proceedings in time before Rio, so that the IFs [International Federations] could potentially do their sanctions before the Olympic Games," the statement from the IOC addressed to TASS said.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced on Wednesday it would suspend the Russian weightlifting federation for a 12-month period, should the rechecks of doping probes collected at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics provide at least three positive results.
"The IOC welcomes the strong signal sent by the IWF," the statement from the IOC said. "The Olympic Summit emphasized earlier this week that the International Federations are responsible for declaring the technical eligibility of their athletes, in particular in relation to doping issues."
IWF’s ruling on Wednesday implicates a total ban of the Russian weightlifting team, which had already been cut from 10 to eight allowed member participants in weightlifting competitions at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Earlier announced positive doping probes among Russian weightlifters caused the national team two Olympic quotas - one in the men’s team and one in the women’s team.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko earlier said the Russian Weightlifting Federation would contest at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) the decision of the International Weightlifting Federation to strip it of two quotas for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
"The federation will file a lawsuit today or tomorrow and will defend its rights at court. Making such decisions ahead of the Olympics is disrespect for athletes and national teams, "Mutko said.
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, North Korea and Moldova also lost two quotas each, while Belarus, Romania and Uzbekistan were stripped of one quota each.
The Russian weightlifting team earlier had the maximum quota of ten athletes (six men and four women).
Last week the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) decided to keep in force the suspension of Russia’s membership in the global athletics body. The suspension implied that Russian field and track athletes were ineligible to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil to be held between August 5 and 21.