Prague, July 21 (IANS) The Czech Olympic Committee has described the ban on Russian athletes taking part in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as “totally unacceptable and unjust”.

“The punishment for all the athletes, even in the form applied only to track and fielders, is totally unacceptable and unjust,” Czech Olympic Committee President Jiri Kejval said in an interview published by the Lidove noviny newspaper, reports TASS.

Kejval said that, in his opinion, the Russian athletes are victims of the scandal, the responsibility for which rests with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“It’s deficiency of the system from beginning to end. It should be emphasized that doping tests at the Olympics, let us say (at the Winter Games) in Sochi, are not taken by Russians themselves, it’s the WADA authorised representatives that get the samples. They control them in their own laboratories, and if someone claims now that somebody manipulated the samples in the Moscow laboratory, then why weren’t they sent to other laboratories? The laboratory in Cologne is located not much farther away from Sochi than Moscow.”

WADA’s work raises many questions among experts, Kejval said. “The question is how the samples (taken from Russian athletes) were controlled and how the anti-doping testing system works in general,” said the Czech Olympic Committee president.

The Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) presented on July 18 a report on the investigation into allegations of doping fraud at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Based on the report, the WADA Executive Committee recommended that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee and all international sports federations bar Russian track and fielders from the competitions.

The IOC will decide on the issue of participation of the Russian national team in the 2016 Olympics within a week. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced on Thursday it turned down the appeal from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 national athletes against International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), thus closing the doors for Russian field and track athletes to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

On Wednesday, the Russian Olympic Committee approved 387 athletes of the national team for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil next month. All the 68 athletes banned by IAAF were put on the list.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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