Skip to content

Rio 2016: Doping crisis clouds Olympics build-up as IOC leaders discuss Russia fall-out

Russia's Vladimir Morozov reacts after the semi-finals of the men's 100m freestyle swimming event at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan on August 5
Image: Russia's Vladimir Morozov is fighting against his suspension

The doping crisis will have topped the agenda for the IOC leaders on Saturday as two Russian swimmers officially contested their bans six days before the Rio Olympics get under way.

London 2012 bronze medallist Vladimir Morozov and compatriot Nikita Lobintsev have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against an IOC order to international federations to exclude athletes named in a report alleging state-run doping in Russia.

Rio's troubled preparations for the Games, which start on Friday, also occupied the IOC executive who heard on Saturday from chief Rio organiser Carlos Nuzman.

The executive board meeting was pushed back so IOC president Thomas Bach could attend the delayed inauguration of a Rio metro line which will link the Barra Olympic zone to the rest of Rio.

The Russia crisis will dominate the IOC executive's final two-day meeting before the gala opening on Friday with the governing body still in shock over attacks for not ordering a blanket ban on Russian athletes following an inquiry by Canadian lawyer Richard McLean for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Last minute preparations at the Olympic golf course at Rio
Image: Last-minute preparations at the Olympic golf course at Rio over the weekend

At least 117 Russian athletes out of 387 names proposed for the Games have been excluded by federations which were told by the IOC to examine all Russian competitors entered.

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Saturday that he expected 266 Russians to be in Rio, but boxing, golf, gymnastics and taekwondo have yet to announce the results of their inquiries.

Also See:

Morozov, a member of the 4x100m freestyle relay team that came third in London four years ago, was one of seven Russian swimmers banned by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) following the IOC directive.

Yelena woe
Yelena woe

No Rio miracle for Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva

The CAS has already rejected an appeal made by 67 Russian athletes against a ban ordered by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) before the IOC sanctions.

Russian doping whistleblower Vitaly Stepanov told a Brazilian newspaper that the Rio Olympics "will not be clean" and blasted the IOC for not banning Russia.

Stepanov, who with his 800m runner wife Yuliya Stepanova, gave details of the state-run doping programme to a German documentary released in 2014, said efforts to clean up sport had failed.

File photo dated 23-02-2014 of The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag
Image: At least 117 Russian athletes out of 387 proposed have been excluded from Rio

"It has always been the case in the Olympics. There has never been a clean Olympics and there is no reason to believe that Rio will be clean," he told O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

"Unfortunately, doped athletes will be competing," said the former Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) official now living in hiding in the United States with his wife.

The IOC invited the couple to Rio but also ruled that Stepanova could not take part in the Games despite her role in lifting the lid on the use of banned substances.

Around Sky