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Russian cyclists Sveshnikov, Sokolov banned from Rio Olympics

July 29, 2016, 13:52 UTC+3

The International Cycling Union earlier said that it had allowed 11 out of 17 Russian cyclists to take part in the Olympics

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MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Russian cyclists Kirill Sveshnikov and Dmitry Sokolov have been barred from competing in the 2016 Olympic Games. TASS came across this information from a letter by the coach to both athletes, Alexander Kuznetsov, sent to head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, where Kuznetsov expressed his outrage at the organization’s ruling.

"The shock from the information received overnight on July 29 was tremendous," the letter said. "According to it, Sokolov and Sveshnikov (which basically means the entire cycle racing team) have been barred from the Rio Olympic Games, since their names are mentioned in Mr. McLaren’s report." Nonetheless, the coach noted that banning these athletes from the Olympics is illegal, since they are not involved in doping scandals.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) earlier said that it had allowed 11 out of 17 Russian cyclists qualifying for the competitions to take part in the Olympics. Three already barred athletes were mentioned in the now infamous July 18 report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission chaired by Canadian Professor Richard McLaren on doping and test manipulation allegations against Russia. Three others - Ilnur Zakarin, Olga Zabelinskaya and Sergey Shilov - were ejected by the Russian Olympic Committee because of their doping history. The name of another cyclist banned from the Olympics because of being implicated in the WADA report has not been disclosed yet.

In particular, the report from WADA’s Commission stated 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.

The International Olympic Committee announced on Sunday that Russian athletes, with the exception of track and field competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association. However, it was also ruled than no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is scheduled to be held from August 5 to August 21.

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