The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it will not ban Russian athletes from competing at the Rio Olympics despite a report which alleged widespread doping.
The IOC will instead leave it up to individual sports’ governing bodies to decide if Russian competitors are clean and should be allowed to take part.
“We had to balance the collective responsibility and the individual justice to which every human being and athlete is entitled to,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in announcing its decision.
The World Anti Doping Agency had asked that Russia be banned from the Olympics in a light of a damning report into widespread doping in the country.
The report found Russia’s government, security services and sporting authorities colluded to hide widespread doping across “a vast majority” of winter and summer sports and in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012.
The review, led by the highly respected Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, also found a comprehensive cover up of doping during the World Championships in Moscow and the World University Games in Kazan in 2013 and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Competitors from Russia who want to take part in the Games will have to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC.
Any Russian who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for next month’s Olympics. Track and field athletes have already been banned.