IOC to rule on Russia's Rio team

Numerous Russian sports stars, including their entire track and field squad, have been barred from the Games over the doping scandal.

The Russian Olympic Committee building in Moscow.   -  AP

Russia will know its fate on Thursday when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules on how many of its athletes will be allowed to compete in the Rio Games.

Some 1.2 million tickets for Olympic events remained on sale ahead of Friday's opening ceremony, which has been overshadowed by accusations that Russia organized state-run doping.

Numerous Russian sports stars, including their entire track and field squad, have been barred from the Games over the doping scandal.

A three-member Olympic panel is expected to approve the final Russian contingent after the IOC ordered individual sports federations to draw up lists of athletes allowed to compete.

The Olympic leadership was "very close" to naming the final figure, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. Draws for the boxing and rowing contests on Thursday increased pressure to announce the contingent.

The IOC had originally said that any athletes "implicated" in a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren should be excluded by federations before appearing to ease its stance.

World Sailing said it had cancelled a ban against Russian 470 class contender Pavel Sozykin because of the "new guidance" it had received from the IOC on Monday.

The new statement "indicated that an athlete should not be considered as 'implicated' if the McLaren list does not refer to a prohibited substance which would have given rise to an anti-doping rules violation," the sailing federation said.

CAS on Wednesday rejected a challenge by the Russian weightlifting federation against its suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation following the McLaren report.