30 Jul 2016

Russian weightlifters barred from Rio

8:43 am on 30 July 2016

Russia's weightlifting team has been banned from competing at the Rio Olympics because of doping offences.

Nigel Avery. Weightlifting. 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sydney, Australia. September 2000

Photo: Photosport

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.

Earlier this month the International Association of Athletics Federations upheld the ban of all Russian track and field athletes from Rio except a long jumper allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

Also banned from the games are seven Russian swimmers, five canoeists, and two athletes who compete in pentathalons.

Three Russian cyclists have withdrawn and three others are under investigation.

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'

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."

- Reuters / BBC