Alexander Zhukov

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 4 (IANS) The Russian team for the Rio Olympics will include 270-280 athletes, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov has said.

“I think the team will include from 270 to 280 athletes,” he told journalists on Wednesday, reports Tass.

The final decision on the admission of the Russian Olympic team to Rio is yet to be made by a recently formed panel of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) independent commission, chaired by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, released the now-infamous July 18 report on the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s sports ministry and the centre for training of Russian national teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of “Disappearing Positive Test Results” in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

As a result, WADA suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

After a conference call by its executive board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion is scheduled to be in effect until December 31, 2016, and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC executive board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on July 24 that Russian athletes, with the exception of track and field competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

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