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Russia Names Rio Olympic Squad as Athletes Await Court Verdict

Russia’s Olympic Committee has named its squad for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, despite facing a total ban against the country's participation.

Some 387 athletes from across 30 sports were named in the Russian squad, which was published on the Olympic Committee’s website.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is currently deliberating a total ban on Russian athletes at the competition, following a damning report on state-backed doping from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The IOC has said that they will wait until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) delivers its verdict on Thursday before making any decision. The court is currently ruling on whether 68 Russian track-and-field athletes had been legally banned from international competition, based on their individual histories of drugs testing.

The IOC said in a statement Tuesday it was “exploring its legal options with regard to a collective ban on all Russian athletes versus the right to individual justice.”

An independent (WADA) report into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Russian sport was published Monday. The document concluded that Russia’s security services and Sports Ministry ran an elaborate “state-sponsored” doping program across dozens of sports for a number of years and had covered up doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

WADA has subsequently urged a total ban on Russian athletes competing in the Olympics.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia was not considering a boycott of the Olympics, which start on 5 August.

“[A potential boycott] is not being discussed” he said, reiterating the statements made by President Vladimir Putin that a boycott would be “a total mistake.”

Russia’s embattled sports minister Vitaly Mutko was denied accreditation to attend the Olympics on Wednesday, along with all Russian sport officials and those mentioned in the McLaren report. The Kremlin ruled that the minister would keep his post as he was not directly named in the report, although McLaren told journalists Monday that it was “inconceivable” that Mutko was unaware of the doping program.

Mutko’s deputy, Yury Nargornykh, has been suspended along with four other leading sports officials.




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