The trainwreck that will likely be the Rio Olympics is almost here and it was possible that Russia, an entire nation with a huge presence at Olympic games, wouldn't be able to participate due to allegations of widespread doping before, during, and after the Sochi games in 2014. Image: AP
Last week, the Worldwide Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released an independent study that supported the Russian doping claims and called for a blanket ban of all Russian athletes. But with the Olympics less than two weeks away, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that it wouldn't be imposing the ban, mostly due to the time constraints.
The process for admitting athletes has already begun and "this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations," the executive board wrote in a press release issued Sunday.
However, that doesn't mean the country is getting off without punishment. The IOC has issued guidelines for Russian athletes that restrict the participation of anybody who has been sanctioned for doping, even if the person has already served the sanction or anybody who had been implicated in the report.
"Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games," the committee wrote.
Additionally, Russian athletes permitted into the games will be subject to an additional testing program coordinated by the IF and WADA.
The IOC also reiterated guidelines for the International Federations (IFs) that an athlete is only permitted entry it it meets a certain list of criteria, which includes having a clean doping record.