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Day of Truth as Olympic Committee Rules on Russian Athletics Ban

The International Olympic Committee will meet in Lausanne on Tuesday to discuss the unanimous decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to ban the Russian athletics team from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday that Moscow supports the right of clean athletes from Russia to take part in the Olympics.

The Russian parliament has prepared a draft statement on the matter, according to the Interfax news agency.

“Banning Russian sportsmen, including those who gained international glory from their outstanding achievements in sports, from participating in the Olympic Games in retaliation for the unethical behavior of their colleagues, is a direct human rights abuse.”

However, during its press conference on June 17, the IAAF council announced that individual Russian athletes can apply to the IAAF for reinstatement to compete internationally as a neutral athlete.

Athletes will have to demonstrate that they have been subject to a credible anti-doping system and that they are not tainted by the Russian system, Rune Andersen, the independent chairperson of the IAAF monitoring task force, said in the press conference.

There is “systematic and systemic doping rooted in many parts of [Russian] society,” Andersen said. “Because the system in Russia has been tainted by doping from the top level and down, we cannot trust that what we call ‘clean athletes’ really are clean,” he added.

Andersen continued on to say that one, two or 100 negative tests do not mean that an athlete is clean.

Last week it was reported that two senior Russian anti-doping officials offered to stop testing Russian swimmers in return for cash before the London 2012 Olympics. An investigation into these allegations is already underway.

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