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Russian Sports Minister says to skip 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil

July 27, 13:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Asked at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday whether he would be going to Brazil for the Games, to be held between August 5 and 21, Mutko said "No"
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday he would not be going to Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Asked at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday whether he would be going to Brazil for the Games, to be held between August 5 and 21, Mutko said "No."

The IOC Executive Board announced last week a provisional decision to deny accreditation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil to Russian sports officials mentioned in the recent report of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission. The report focused on the alleged anti-doping violations at the 2014 Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi.

The 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.

Following 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.

Commenting on the IOC’s decision on the denial of accreditation, Mutko told TASS last week he would accept whatever decision the IOC makes. However, the most important thing for him was that the Russia’s Olympic team would go to the Rio Olympics.

IAAF’S decision on ban of Russian field and trackers remains unchanged

A decision made earlier by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the suspension of Russian field and track athletes from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil next month has remained unchanged, Russian Sports Minister also said.

Earlier in the week Mutko sent a letter to IAAF President Sebastian Coe asking him to allow Russia’s doping-clean field and track athletes to take part in the upcoming Olympics.

"I have received an answer from Coe,’ Mutko said. "The earlier made decision remained in force."

On June 17, the IAAF Council ruled it was still early to restore the membership of ARAF in the international organization and suspended Russian athletes from all international tournaments, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

Late last month the IAAF announced 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.

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.

IOC President Thomas Bach 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.

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