Sports Other News 06 Jul 2016 Rio Olympics 2016: 6 ...

Rio Olympics 2016: 68 Russians beg to compete

AFP | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 6, 2016, 5:29 am IST
Updated Jul 6, 2016, 5:29 am IST
World champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov.
 World champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov.

Moscow: Russia’s athletics federation on Tuesday published a list of the 68 athletes who have formally requested to be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics following a decision to suspend the track and field team. The athletes have “met the criteria” to participate and were approved by Russian coaches, said the federation, which last month had its suspension over allegations of institutionalised and pervasive doping upheld by athletics’ ruling body the IAAF.

“Every athlete has sent in an individual request to participate in the Olympic Games, for confirmation by the IAAF,” ARAF said. The list includes track and field stars like world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, long-jumper Darya Klishina, and pole vault tsarina Yelena Isinbayeva. The IAAF’s ruling on June 17 said that Russia’s athletics federation was up to two years away from returning to operational compliance with anti-doping requirements.

But it left the door ajar to some competitors not tainted by doping to compete as neutrals in Rio. The IOC went a step further and said athletes who pass an individual test by the IAAF can compete under their nation’s flag. The process through which athletes can “clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system” as the IAAF demands before the Games begin is not entirely clear. The World Anti-Doping Association argues that tough measures are key to send a message that doping is unacceptable, while another investigation of Russian doping is still ongoing, with a report to be published next week.

Meanwhile, A crime-plagued, cash-strapped Rio de Janeiro entered the one-month countdown to becoming the first South American city to host the Olympics. Stadiums are all ready — barring finishing touches — and within weeks, Brazil expects to greet at least 5,00,000 tourists for the August 5 to 21 Games. The mayor, Eduardo Paes, and Brazil’s Olympic committee boss Carlos Nuzman were to give a news conference marking the milestone in Rio’s epic effort to transform from a beautiful but crumbling city to glittering stage for the world’s most-watched event.

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