Olympics: IOC 'very reluctant' to ban Russia, Pound says

Boycotting the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games amid the ongoing doping scandal is not on Russian agenda, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Further appeals are also possible, meaning that the final word on the Russians may go down to the wire before August 5, when the Rio games open.

The IOC's legal options may become clearer after Thursday, when the highest court in sports will rule on an appeal by 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn their ban from the games.

This is why the former Olympic fencing champion from Germany called for an urgent teleconference of his executive board yesterday, although WADA president and IOC vice-president Sir Craig Reedie did not take part, citing a conflict of interest.

But Dick Pound, who was WADA's first president, said he feared the International Olympic Committee was loath to take such a step, leaving doubts over any athlete participating under the Russian flag.

BERN-Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics remained in the balance on Tuesday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would "explore legal options" for banning the country from the Games.

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The IOC said it will not grant accreditation to any official of the Russian Ministry of Sport or anyone implicated in report for the Games in Rio.

World Rowing also said it "is undertaking a complete review of testing of Russian rowers since 2011" and has asked WADA for any evidence related to doping by Russian rowers.

"As the worldwide agency - responsible for leading the collaborative, global, clean sport movement - WADA is calling on the sports movement to impose the strongest possible measures to protect clean sport for Rio 2016 and beyond". To prepare them [athletes] outside the country is a discriminatory demand.

Rodchenkov is now in hiding in the United States and is wanted by Russian Federation.

Pound said an Olympic ban "would force Russian Federation to acknowledge that the rest of the world is not prepared to play with them unless they change". The executive ordered a re-analysis of all samples by Russian athletes taken at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and action against the sports ministry.

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The Russian delegation to Rio 2016 will comprise more than 700 people, Alexander Zhukov, the Russian Olympic Committee president, told journalists.

Because of these, many institutions involved in the Olympics now call for the banning of Russian athletes in the Rio Olympics. "So I can not imagine it without Russian Federation".

Ben Johnson made it onto the cover of Sports Illustrated for his world-record victory in the 100 meters at the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988, but when it was found he had tested positive for anabolic steroids, he was stripped of his gold medal.

In mid-June, the WADA took another look and again found more of the same, leading the IAAF to issue a unanimous decision banning Russian track and field athletes from competing in global competitions, saying the testing system was "tainted by doping from the top level and down".

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, expressed shock at this attack "on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games". But the International Olympic Committee ordered a disciplinary commission to look into his ministry's role in what Monday's report called a "state-dictated failsafe system" of drug cheating that included Russia's secret service swapping dirty urine samples for clean ones through a hole in a wall in Sochi.

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Reacting to the McLaren report, the Association of Summer Olympic Federations said it was "important to focus on the need for individual justice" while noting "the gravity and extent" of the alleged cheating.

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