International Athletics

IAAF at odds with Bach over Rio flag for Russians

2016-06-21 19:34
IAAF logo (Getty Images)

Paris - Athletics ruling body the IAAF appeared on Tuesday to be at odds with Olympic chief Thomas Bach over Russian athletes competing under a neutral rather than Russian flag in Rio.

IOC president Bach said earlier in the day that any Russian athletes who pass an individual test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) could compete under their own nation's flag at the Olympic Games.

"If there are athletes qualified then they will compete as members of the team of the Russian Olympic Committee... because it is not suspended," the International Olympic Committee president told reporters.

Bach dismissed suggestions that Russian track and field stars could compete under a neutral or Olympic flag, an option suggested when the IAAF extended its ban on Russian track and field stars on Friday.

Hours after his comments, the IAAF issued a statement of its own.

It said its council on Friday had agreed "to allow Russian athletes to apply for eligibility, on an exceptional basis and subject to meeting strict criteria, to compete in international competitions, including the Olympic Games, in an individual capacity as neutral athletes, not under any country's flag".

The IAAF statement added: "This decision has been unequivocally supported across sport and the IOC Summit today unanimously agreed to fully respect the IAAF decision.

"The IAAF will now work with the IOC to ensure the decision is respected and implemented in full."

Read more on:    iaaf  |  olympics 2016

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