IOC decides against full Olympic ban for Russia

The International Olympic Committee has decided against a complete ban of Russians from next month’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The IOC executive board announced its decision Sunday.

The board did rule that for Russian athletes to participate at the Games they must undergo additional scrutiny by their sport’s international federation, including an analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record. Also, any Russian athlete with a previous doping sanction is ineligible for the 2016 Games, even if he or she already served a ban.

The IOC said the federations have the authority, under their own rules, to exclude Russian teams as a whole from their sports.

Russian athletes accepted to the Olympics will be subject to a “rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme,” the IOC said. Any missed test by an athlete would result in a loss of accreditation by the IOC.

Russia has already been handed a doping punishment when its track and field team lost an appeal against a ban Thursday. Russian Yulia Stepanova, an 800-meter runner and whistleblower on doping practices in her country, had been considered to compete at the Olympics as a “neutral athlete,” but the IOC ruled Sunday that she will not be granted that opportunity.

The IAAF had also granted “neutral athlete” status to Florida-based long jumper Darya Klishina. Her status was unclear after the IOC’s ruling.

Earlier interim IOC measures announced Tuesday included urging winter sports federations to move their competitions out of Russia this season, in response to allegations that Russian state officials hid hundreds of failed drug tests over several years and swapped samples from doped athletes for clean ones during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia has admitted some doping violations by its athletes and coaches but denies that the government was involved. State media has painted the issue as a U.S.-led political vendetta.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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