Decision over blanket Rio ban on Russia delayed as International Olympic Commitee opt to seek legal advice

 
Ross McLean
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The IOC plans to make a decision by the middle of next week (Source: Getty)

Russia must wait to learn its fate after the International Olympic Committee delayed a decision on whether to enforce a blanket ban on the nation’s athletes competing at next month’s Games in Rio.

Following a four-hour meeting, the IOC confirmed it would “explore their legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes, versus the right to individual justice”.

The governing body also wishes to take into consideration the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Russia’s appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federation’s ban of the Russian track and field team. A verdict is due on Thursday.

IOC chiefs have, however, confirmed they will introduce a raft of interim measures, including the re-testing of all Russian competitors who participated at he 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Renewed action on Russia follows the findings of a two-month investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which uncovered a deep-rooted state-sponsored doping programme over a four-year period. Led by Canadian sports lawyer Dr Richard McLaren, the report concluded that doping manipulation took place from late 2011 until August 2015 across most summer and winter Olympic sports.

The British High Court, meanwhile, has ordered Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova to repay more than £377,000 to London Marathon organisers. The 38-year-old won the race in 2010 but was later suspended for 38 months for doping.

The sum covers appearance fees and prize money, although the judgement needs enforcing by Russia. London Marathon Events Ltd chief executive Nick Bitel said: “It will be a long and difficult process but we will pursue it.”