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German officials blast IOC over Russia verdict

2016-08-05 19:58

Berlin - German officials blasted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday over its decision to allow 271 Russian athletes to participate in the Rio Games despite accusations of a state-run doping programme.

Top-ranking German sports officials decried the decision as a "poor signal", while others demanded the resignation of the International Olympic Committee's chief Thomas Bach.

"We want to tell Bach: game over, you may leave," said Ines Geipel, a former sprinter who now heads an association to help the thousands of ex-athletes involved in the former East German state's doping programme.

"The consistently cowardly manner in which the IOC deals with Russia is no more than pure cynicism," she charged, adding that "lies and cover ups are becoming the norm while the Olympic charter and good sense is being turned into laughing stocks."

A board member of Germany's National Anti-Doping Agency, Lars Mortsiefer, also had strong words for the IOC, saying its decision "sends a poor signal for clean and fair sports."

German athletics federation chief Clemens Prokop said the IOC has "done serious damage to its credibility".

Given that the abuse was state orchestrated, "there should have been a decision against the system, and not against individuals," said Prokop.

Anti-doping specialist Fritz Soergel meanwhile called it "a victory for Bach but not for honest sports."

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