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Russia expects IOC decision on Olympic squad at 2016 Rio on Sunday

July 20, 14:59 UTC+3
A total of 386 athletes, including 68 field and trackers, entered the draft list of the Russian Olympic team for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil
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© Andrei Golovanov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. A total of 386 athletes, including 68 field and trackers, entered the list of the Russian Olympic team for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, but the roster is still has to be approved by the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, the committee’s president, said on Wednesday.

According to the official, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is likely to make its decision whether to grant the Russian Olympians the right to participate in the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil this Sunday, July 24.

The ROC president said that the IOC decision would largely depend on the verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which on Tuesday began hearings into the appeal from the ROC against the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations).

"Hearings took place yesterday in Geneva and the verdict will be most probably announced tomorrow," Zhukov said. "The verdict will have a weighty influence on whether our track and field athletes will be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games."

"The CAS verdict will also largely influence next steps of the IOC, which yesterday convened its Executive Board to discuss the issue of our athletes’ participation at the upcoming Olympics," he said. "The issue will be finally resolved by the end of the week, most likely on Sunday."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, released a report on Monday on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The commission found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service supported the doping program in Russian sports.

Following the report WADA recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations to ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

On June 17, the IAAF (the International Association of Athletics Federations) Council ruled it was still early to restore the membership of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) in the international organization and suspended Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne announced on July 4 that it received a filed lawsuit from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) against IAAF in defense of the national field and track athletes wishing to participate in the 2016 Summer Games. The hearings were slated to begin on July 19.

The IAAF announced late last month that it amended the organization’s regulations in order to allow field and track athletes from Russia to submit individual applications for international tournaments.

The world’s governing body of athletics, however, emphasized that Russians, admitted to competitions on an individual basis, would be unable to perform as part of the national team and would participate only under the neutral flag.

Earlier this month, IAAF’s anti-doping department rejected personal applications from all Russian athletes for participation in international competitions, including the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, except for long jump athlete Darya Klishina.

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