Alexander Zhukov

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) Russia Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov has asserted that the country will have the cleanest team at the Rio Olympics after 271 of its athletes were cleared to compete in the Games.

Several anti-doping bodies called for Russia to be excluded from the Rio Olympics, which begin on Friday, in the wake of a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that accused the country of state-sponsored doping, reports Xinhua.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked international sports federations to decide which athletes could compete, but banned all competitors with prior doping sanctions.

“Not one team underwent such strict requirements as Russian athletes,” Zhukov told a news conference in Rio on Thursday.

“No athletes from any country … had the rules changed to bar those previously guilty of doping.”

That given permission to participate includes 18 shooters, 11 boxers, 11 judokas, eight tennis players, six sailors, five equestrian riders, three archers and one golfer, among others.

According to Russian news agency R-Sport, 29 swimmers and canoeing world champion Andrey Kraitor were also allowed to compete.

A three-person IOC panel makes the final decision for giving clearance to the athletes after recommendations were sent by their respective sports federations.

Around 70 percent of the competitors initially selected to represent Russia in Rio are now free to compete.

They do not include track and field athletes and weightlifters, who were banned for doping offences.

Another five athletes – three track cyclists, a wrestler, and a canoeist – will know by Friday if they can take part in the Rio Games.

    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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