Russian weightlifters to miss Olympic Games for drug offences

Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Russia’s weightlifting team has been banned from competing at the Rio Olympic Games because of doping offences.

Individual sport federations must rule on whether Russians can compete in Rio following the country’s doping scandal.

Two of the eight-strong weightlifting team had already been banned for doping violations, and another four were named in the McLaren report into doping.

Russia’s Sports Minister said 272 of the original 387 athletes selected had been cleared to complete in Rio.

A final figure is expected on Saturday, with the federations of boxing, golf, gymnastics, handball and taekwondo still to confirm their decisions.

The Games get under way on 5 August.

Weightlifting findings ‘shocking and disappointing’

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) had recommended all Russian athletes be banned from the Games, but weightlifting and athletics are the only sports to have imposed a blanket ban on Russian competitors.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) took the step following a series of suspicious test results at the Beijing and London Games.

“We would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters,” said a statement by IWF.

“The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians, therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport.”

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