GENEVA, July 26. /TASS/. Five Russian athletes, mentioned in the recent report of the global anti-doping organization’s Independent Commission, were barred on Tuesday by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, due to kick off next month in Brazil.
"The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has taken swift action to remove five Russian Canoe Sprint athletes from the Rio Olympic Games following the release of additional information naming those implicated by the McLaren Report," the ICF said in its statement.
The Russian athletes in question are two canoeists - Andrey Kraitor and Alexey Korovashkov - and three kayakers - Elena Aniushina, Natalia Podolskaia and Alexander Dyachenko.
"There are 27 cases from the 25 Canoe Sprint athletes named in report, 11 have already been sanctioned and 15 have not competed at senior international level," the statement said.
Commenting on the international federation’s decision regarding the Russian athletes, Simon Toulson, the ICF secretary general said: "This is a bitter blow for the Olympic movement and we are saddened that our sport is implicated."
"We have taken swift action and removed all offending athletes where doping evidence exists," Toulson was quoted as saying by the ICF official website. "The ICF will continue its strong zero-tolerance stance and remove all athletes that contravene its rules in any way."
"We are clear that if you step out of line you won’t make the start line," the ICF senior executive added.
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.