Russia Escapes Blanket Ban From Rio Olympics

Russia Escapes Blanket Ban From Rio OlympicsRussia Escapes Blanket Ban From Rio Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not impose a blanket ban on Russia for next month's Rio Olympics over the nation's doping record but will leave decisions on individual athletes' participation to the relevant sports federations.

The IOC's announcement follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) call for a Rio ban in response to the independent McLaren report that found evidence of widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Reuters reported.

The world governing body's ruling 15-member executive board met on Sunday via teleconference. With the Rio Games' Aug. 5 opening ceremony less than two weeks away, IOC decided that responsibility for ruling on the eligibility of Russians remains with the international federations.

While calls had been growing for a blanket ban after the damning evidence in the McLaren report, the IOC said that Russians would be able to participate if cleared by their respective international federations.

IOC added that the rules of natural justice mean that each athlete must be given the opportunity to show that such "collective responsibility" is not applicable in his or her individual case. For individuals to be excluded from the collective responsibility they must have a spotless international records on drug testing, the IOC said, adding that no athlete who has been sanctioned for doping will be eligible to compete in Rio.