Olympic bosses convene panel to determine Russia's participation at Rio Games

Ross McLean
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IOC Executive Board Meeting
Thomas Bach was speaking at a executive board ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio (Source: Getty)

Olympic bosses have convened a three-man panel which will now have the final say on whether Russia’s athletes are eligible to compete at the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decreed last week that individual sports’ governing bodies must determine whether or not prospective competitors are clean after opting against a blanket ban on Russia.

But the IOC’s executive board, which met over the weekend, has decided to empower a new task force to issue a final decision. More than 250 Russian athletes have so far been cleared to compete at the Games, which start on Friday.

“The executive board decided to delegate the final decision on the acceptance of entries of Russian athletes to a review panel composed of three IOC executive board members: Ugur Erdener, Claudia Bokel and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr,” read a statement.

“The review panel is due to make a final decision in the coming days.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency had recommended that all Russian athletes be banned following after the McLaren Report, which it commissioned, found evidence of a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia over a four-year period.