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Kremlin expects IOC to allow clean Russian competitors at Rio

22 July 2016, 14:22

Moscow - Russia insisted Friday it expects to avoid a blanket ban from the IOC on its competitors at the Rio Olympics despite its track and field squad losing an appeal over suspension for state-sponsored doping.

"All sportsmen who have not been convicted or are not under suspicion of doping should have the right to compete," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"That is the decision we are counting on."

The International Olympic Committee's executive board are to hold a conference call on Sunday to discuss banning Russia from the Rio Games starting on August 5.

Also read: Russia lashes out at CAS doping appeal rejection

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday ruled against Russia's athletes in a decision seen as a key indicator as the IOC debates whether to kick out the whole Russian team.

The IOC is facing international pressure to act tough on Russia and ban the entire team over bombshell revelations of a state-run doping system that has seen the country cheat its way to victory.

Fourteen national anti-doping agencies including the United States, Canada and Germany sent a joint letter to IOC President Thomas Bach on Thursday urging him to ban Russia from Rio.

Officials in Moscow have slammed the decision by CAS to reject its appeal against a ban from the world athletics body IAAF, calling it part of a broader political campaign by the West against Russia.

The suspension of the track and field team already means that star athletes like pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and hurdler Sergey Shubenkov will not be in Rio.

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