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International Fencing Federation approves all Russian fencers for 2016 Olympics

July 27, 18:09 UTC+3 GENEVA
"FIE has re-examined the results from 197 tests taken by Russian athletes in 35 countries, including Russia, between 2014 and 2016. They were all negative," the International Fencing Federation said
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© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

GENEVA, July 27. /TASS/. The International Fencing Federation (FIE) announced on Wednesday that it decided to clear all Russian fencers, who applied to participate in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil next month.

"Following the decision of the IOC Executive Board of July 24, 2016, the FIE has re-examined the results from 197 tests taken by Russian athletes in 35 countries, including Russia, between 2014 and 2016. They were all negative," FIE said in its statement.

"In accordance with the request of the IOC Executive Board, the FIE has established a pool of Russian fencers eligible for the Rio Olympics," the statement said. "It consists of all 16 fencers who have qualified for the Games, plus the four P-accreditation (reserve) athletes."

"Furthermore, under the authority of the FIE and overseen by PWC, 24 Russian fencers, including the 16 who had qualified for Rio, were tested during the 2016 European Championships in Torun, Poland, June 20-25," according to the statement from FIE. "All 24 samples returned negative results from an independent externally-appointed laboratory in Dresden, Germany."

The global governing body of fencing sports also said that it "consistently exercised a zero-tolerance policy to any cases of doping."

"The FIE has always strictly complied with any and all anti-doping rules and regulations established by the International Olympic Committee and WADA," the statement 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.

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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