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Olympians association opposes blanket ban on all Russians

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 11:11 PMAP

MONACO (AP):

The global association of Olympic athletes says it's unfair that all Russia's track and field athletes have been banned from international competition because of allegations of state-sponsored doping.

The World Olympians Association (WOA) calls for an "urgent solution" that allows athletes who have not been involved in doping to be able to compete.

The WOA issued a statement yesterday saying clean athletes should "have their rights and their reputations protected and honoured".

Russia's athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF following a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency panel that detailed widespread doping. The sanction could keep Russian track and field athletes out of next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The WOA suggests that athletes from suspended countries who have clean doping records could undergo "extraordinary testing sessions" clearing them to compete.

The WOA has ties to Russia through its patron, Prince Albert of Monaco, who has vacationed in the past with Russian President Vladimir Putin. WOA president Joel Bouzou is an adviser to Prince Albert and received a Russian state medal in 2012.