IOC and IAAF heading for clash over whether Russian athletics team members can compete under own flag at Rio 2016

June 22, 2016 0

From Inside the Games

Divisions remain over whether Russian track and field athletes approved to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be able to do so under their own flag, or under a neutral one.

A decision was made at today’s Olympic Stakeholders Summit here to “fully respect” the ruling of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to extend their suspension of Russian athletes from participating at all competitions, including the Olympic Games.

Only those who can prove they have been operating under an effective testing system will be deemed eligible, with this having been interpreted as excluding all those based in Russia, meaning only three or four are expected.

Those approved will compete under a neutral banner at all IAAF-run competitions, and, it had been thought, at the Olympic Games as well.

Under current IOC rules, however, only National Olympic Committees can enter athletes to the Olympic Games.

This means that, because the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has not been accused of any wrongdoing, a rule change would be required for them to compete neutrally under the IOC flag.

No application has yet been made by the IAAF for such a rule change to be discussed before Rio 2016, the IOC insist.

But the IAAF will continue to push for a neutral team.

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