IOC sets up 3-person panel to rule on Russian entries
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):
A three-person Inter-national Olympic Committee (IOC) panel will make a final ruling on which individual Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Games.
The IOC's ruling executive board, meeting yesterday for the final time before the opening of the Games on Friday, said the panel will decide on the entry of Russian athletes whose names have been forwarded to compete by their international sports federations and approved by an independent arbitrator.
"This panel will decide whether to accept or reject that final proposal," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "We want to make it absolutely clear that we are the ones making the final call."
The move comes amid a doping scandal that has led to the exclusion of more than 100 Russian athletes connected to state-sponsored cheating. More than 250 Russian athletes have been cleared to compete by the federations.
The panel will have to make its ruling before the opening ceremony, just six days away.
"We're working on a very, very tight timeline," Adams said. "It has to be finished by Friday at the very latest."