Russian chief says clean athletes to appeal IAAF blanket ban

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 8:09 AM

By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Any competitor from Russia or Kenya wishing to take part in the Rio Olympics will need to be individually evaluated and declared eligible by their sport's international federation, Olympic chief Thomas Bach said on Tuesday.

The special measure is being introduced because of the unsatisfactory state of anti-doping bodies in the two countries, which Bach said put "very serious doubts on the presumption of innocence".

Russian track and field athletes remain banned from Rio after the IOC offered "respect, approval and support" for the blanket ban on them, extended on Friday by world athletics' governing body for systemic doping.

But there is still a chance those athletes could compete as Russian Olympic chief Aleksander Zhukov said clean Russian athletes would appeal the "legally indefensible" ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Any athletes who succeed in their appeal would compete under the Russian flag, Bach said, not an Olympic or neutral one.

(Editing by Ossian Shine and Robin Pomeroy)