Olympics: US anti-dopers blast International Olympic Committee 'confusing mess' over Russian Federation

"Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the "presumption of innocence" can not be applied to them".

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) failed to demonstrate strong leadership on a sad day for clean sport when it declined to ban Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics, anti-doping officials said on Sunday.

That would dash the hopes of middle-distance runner Yulia Stepanova, the whistleblower and former drug cheat whose initial evidence led to one of the biggest doping scandals in decades.

"I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete", says IOC President Thomas Bach.

Bach said the International Olympic Committee decision considered the severity of the misconduct while also sending "a message of encouragement to clean Russian athletes".

Any Russian athlete who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for next month's Olympics.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported that, while the International Olympic Committee has generally shied away from complete bans on nations competing in the past, it came under huge pressure by other nations to ban Russian Federation due to the wide scale of the state-sponsored doping program first revealed by The New York Times and CBS News' own "60 Minutes".

"I hope that the majority of worldwide federations will very promptly confirm the right of (Russian) sportspeople in different types of sports to take part in the Olympic Games", Mr Mutko said.

The committee ruled that decisions on individual competitors will be left to the worldwide sports federations.

"Disappointingly, however, in response to the most important moment for clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic Games, the IOC has refused to take decisive leadership".

The cheating went on during the 2014 Sochi Games and other major Olympic and worldwide events, including the world athletics championship in Moscow in 2013.

The 31st summer Olympic Games will be held in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro from August 5 through 21, 2016. The prospect still leaves open the possibility that more Russian athletes could be banned.

Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko - a key player in the WADA report who has been banned from Rio - hailed the IOC's "objective" decision. "We are not going to give special protection to anyone".

The IOC statement added: "The Executive Board would like to express its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova's contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport".

"Furthermore, the sanction to which she was subject and the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself, do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games".


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