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Russian Olympic chief denies reports on only 40 national athletes going to 2016 Rio

July 26, 13:21 UTC+3
"It was only a newspaper report’s speculation that all our national team would be barred from the Olympics," Russian Olympic chief Alexander Zhukov said
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Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee

Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), denied on Tuesday earlier media reports that only a total of 40 Russian national athletes would be allegedly allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil next month.

"It was only a newspaper report’s speculation that all our national team would be barred from the Olympics," Zhukov told journalists.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released a report on July 18 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.

According to the details, 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 had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

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

After a conference call by its Executive Board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion will be in effect until December 31, 2016 and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC Executive Board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on Sunday that Russian athletes, with the exception of field and track competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

Last Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) turned down 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 field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

Cases opened in regard to Russian athletes on suspicion of taking banned performance enhancing substance meldonium must not be used as a reason for barring national athletes from 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, Alexander Zhukov, told TASS.

Russian national volleyball team’s player Alexander Markin told TASS earlier in the day that the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) barred him from the 2016 Summer Olympics due to his earlier provisional suspension for allegedly taking meldonium.

"Meldonium cases must not be taken into account," Zhukov said in an interview with TASS.

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