IOC to explore legal options for Russia ban

The IOC said it will not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia including the plans for the European Games 2019 organised by the European Olympic Committees.

While terming the doping revelations an "unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports", IOC president Thomas Bach said all legal options would be explored to impose a blanket ban on Russia.   -  AP

Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics was still in the balance on Tuesday 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, the day after an independent report detailed a systematic and state-run doping programme in Russia, members fell short of an immediate ban but they did issue a series of measures relating to the report.

“With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the IP Report,” a statement said.

“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 on Tuesday it had started disciplinary action against officials mentioned in the report and that anyone implicated would not be given accreditation for Rio.

>WATCH: Former Russian Anti-Doping chief refutes McLaren report

Given the report's details of extensive cover-ups of positive tests in Sochi, the IOC has ordered the immediate re-testing of all Russian athletes who took part, as well as a full enquiry.

It also instructed all international Winter Olympics Sports Federations to freeze their preparations for major events in Russia.

It also said it would not back the European Games, scheduled to be held in Russia in 2019.

The IOC also said it will not grant any accreditation to any official of the Russian Ministry of Sport or any person implicated in the McLaren report for the Rio Games.

It added that the committee would have to take into consideration the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision due on Thursday concerning the IAAF rules, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter.

CAS is due to rule on the dispute between Russia, 68 of its athletes and the governing body of world athletics over their Rio participation after the IAAF banned the country from the Rio track and field programme.

The report, commissioned by WADA and compiled by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, on Monday revealed evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian sports men and women and extensive cover-ups, particularly in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi.

Positive tests were covered up and “dirty” urine samples swapped with “clean” ones with methods developed by the domestic intelligence service (FSB), while deputy sports minister Yuri Nagornykh decided which athletes would be protected.