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1% chance for Russian athletes be allowed to Rio Olympics, says Russian sports minister

July 23, 17:28 UTC+3
"The track and field athletes have been preparing and on July 28 they will hold their own tournament," Vitaly Mutko said
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Vitaly Mutko

Vitaly Mutko

© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. The chance that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will permit the Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics is not higher than one percent, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told a news conference on Saturday.

"I would not like to draw plans under a negative scenario," Mutko said. "The track and field athletes have been preparing and on July 28 they will hold their own tournament. However, I would give a one percent chance (that they may be allowed to the next month’s Olympic Games in Rio.".

IOC should not use collective responsibility approach

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should not use the approach of collective responsibility while considering participation of the Russian athletes in the Olympic Games, Mutko told a news conference.

"We are waiting for tomorrow's decision of IOC," he said. "IOC's objective is to unite via sports, and the collective responsibility approach should not prevail. Our position is the report (of WADA Independent Commission) is shocking, it contains proofs from only one person."

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled against the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), thus closing the doors for Russian track and field athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, except for long jump athlete Darya Klishina who has been living and training in the United States in the past three years.

On July 18, WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, released a report 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 claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service (FSB) 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.

The final decision on the admission of Russian athletes to the 2016 Olympics, due to kick off early next month, is yet to be made by the IOC Executive Board, which plans to hold a conference on the issue on July 24.

No grounds for moving the 2018 FIFA World Cup from Russia

FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) says that there exist no grounds for moving the 2018 FIFA World Cup from Russia due to the doping scandal, Mutko told a news conference.

Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had recommended international federations of winter sports to freeze preparations for major international competitions in Russia. The restrictions will be in place until December 2016 and may be reconsidered at a meeting of the IOC Executive Board in December.

"FIFA says that there are no grounds for taking the Cup away from us," Mutko said. "IOC has given recommendations (not to hold winter championships in Russia). But I cannot see any connection between doping violations and, for instance the Biathlon World Cup in Khanty-Mansiisk. I can say the same thing about the World Football Cup."

Eleven Russian cities are expected to host the next FIFA World Cup between June 14 and July 15 in 2018.

Compensation for cancelation of warm-up matches

The Russian Football Union counts to get a compensation for the cancelation of warm-up matches as part of the World Cup 2018 qualifications, Mutko told reporters.

"Almost until 2018, the whole calendar has been booked, but we do not publish it because we are waiting for the coach. It would be wrong to put him before the fact, something needs to be discussed. We have done a great job with UEFA, we are suffering economic losses, because we have transferred the rights to the pool. We expect to receive a compensation, which should be enough to organize warm-up matches during this period,"Mutko said.

Salary of coaching staff

The salary of the coaching staff of Russia’s national football team should not exceed $2.4 mln a year, Mutko told a press conference.

"We can spend $2.4 mln a year on the coaches of our national team," he said after the meeting of the executive committee of Russia’s Football Union.

Russia’s national team before 2018 World Cup will play mainly with teams from outside Europe

The Russian national team will play warm-up matches with teams that are mainly from outside Europe before the 2018 World Cup, Vitaly Mutko said.

"The whole calendar has been booked almost until 2018, but we do not publish it because we are waiting for the coach. It would be wrong to put him before the fact, something should be discussed. We have already defined the first two games. They will be in September. We will play mainly with Asia, Africa and Oceania, but there will be a match with a team from Europe," Mutko said.

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