Rio 2016: Ban on all Russian weightlifters

Rio 2016: Ban on all Russian weightlifters

Following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Person (IP) report of state-sponsored doping among Russian athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose not to impose a blanket ban on the country in the upcoming Olympics.

Instead, the committee left the decision in the hands of the 28 individual governing bodies of each sport.

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With a few days left before the games, the latest sports body to reach a decision was the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) who slapped another blow to the Russian Olympic team by implementing a blanket ban on all Russian weightlifters. This means all eight athletes nominated by the Russian Olympic Committee will not take part in the games.

“The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians, therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport,” said the IWF in an official statement.

The IWF has already offered the eight spots vacated by the Russian weightlifters to other countries. For women’s weightlifting, there were Albania, Georgia and Moldova, while the men’s side had Belgium, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia and Serbia in the list.

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As of posting, there will be a total of 272 out of 387 Russian athletes participating in Rio 2016. Aside from the weightlifting team, the individual bodies for track and field, swimming and rowing have also imposed bans on Russian athletes. Track and field imposed a blanket ban, while swimming and rowing removed seven and 22 Russian athletes, respectively. Two swimmers who were in the list, Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have been appealing their case, since then.

A more definite number of Russian athletes in the Olympic games will hopefully be reached before August 5, as the federations of boxing, golf, gymnastics and taekwondo have yet to make their respective decisions.

PHOTO COURTESY: Usodesita/Flicker