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Sunday 25 September 2016

IOC delay decision on banning Russia from Rio

Liliya Shobukhova.
Liliya Shobukhova.

Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics remains in jeopardy after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would "explore legal options" for banning the country from the Games.

At an emergency IOC Executive Board meeting in Switzerland, a day after an independent report detailed a systematic, state-run doping programme in Russia, members fell short of an immediate ban but announced a series of other measures.

A five-man disciplinary commission was set up to start proceedings against Russian officials mentioned in the report, which described extensive doping and cover-ups at the Sochi Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in 2014.

The IOC also said it would not organise or give patronage to any sports event in Russia, including the planned 2019 European Games, and that no member of the Russian Sports Ministry implicated in the report would be accredited for Rio.

With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Brazil, the IOC said it would "carefully evaluate" the report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"It will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice."

The IOC said it would have to take into consideration a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) tomorrow, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter.

Meanwhile, Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova has been ordered to repay almost £378,000 to the organisers of the London Marathon after being banned for doping.

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