Olympics 2016: BOA chief Bill Sweeney expects Russian athletes to be "heavily tested" if granted permission to compete in Rio by the IAAF

 
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BOA chief Bill Sweeney: "We'd have faith in the IAAF's decision". (Source: Getty)

The British Olympic Association (BOA) will not appeal if Russian athletes are granted permission to compete in this year's Olympics by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) this Friday.

BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney believes if Russian athletes are allowed to travel to Rio de Janeiro, they would be heavily tested after being suspended by the IAAF in November in the wake of "state-sponsored" doping allegations.

A 27-man IAAF Council will decide whether or not to lift the suspension in time for the Olympics when it meets on Friday in Vienna.

It comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) reported last night that 736 tests between November and May on Russian athletes were either declined or cancelled and 52 tested positive, including 49 for meldonium.

Speaking before the full report was published, Sweeney reiterated the BOA's commitment to ensuring its representatives are clean and argued that the International Olympic Committee's recent retrospective testing demonstrates sport's commitment to tackling doping.

Read more: Doping claims - How many medals at London 2012 Olympics could be under suspicion?

"It's their decision and we believe they'll make the right decision, whatever it is," said Sweeney. "We can't really speculate. We wouldn't appeal, we would have faith that they'd made the right decision.

"If there are Russians competing in the Games, we are pretty confident they will have been heavily tested and you’d believe they would be competing under the right ccirumstances."

“We all want to make sure the Games are safeguarded for clean athletes and the fact there is retrospective testing going on shows how seriously the International Olympic Committee is taking it.

"Nobody wants to see unfair advantages in sport and I believe the Games will be protected for the clean athletes.”

The Wada report reveals that various obstacles were put in the way of its attempts to test Russian athletes in recent months, in conjunction with UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), including athletes providing military cities which require a lengthy application process to access as their location of whereabouts, athletes withdrawing from competition when doping control officers were present and even one athlete running away from officers after competing.

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