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World’s governing body of volleyball gives green light to Russia’s 2016 Rio squad

July 27, 14:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The International Federation of Volleyball stresses it is committed to protecting clean athletes
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© EPA/KIYOSHI OTA

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. The International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) announced on Wednesday that it cleared all players from the Russian national volleyball team for participation in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil next month.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, released a report last week 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 report states 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. Eight cases were referred to Russian players in volleyball and two in beach volleyball.

"The FIVB has submitted the names of the Russian volleyball and beach volleyball athletes to the IOC and CAS for approval," the statement from the federation said. "The FIVB has conducted a full examination of the Olympic eligibility of each player submitted by the Russian Volleyball Federation in accordance with the IOC Executive Board’s decision on Sunday, July 24."

"It is important to re-emphasize that the FIVB has zero-tolerance towards doping and has total confidence in its anti-doping system," the statement said. "The FIVB is 100% committed to protecting clean athletes and will take immediate action to suspend any athletes who have infringed anti-doping rules."

Following the Independent 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.

His statement followed last Sunday’s teleconference of the IOC Executive Board, which, however, ruled than no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if they have served the sanction as well as any athlete mentioned in the McLaren report.

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