Oz 'disappointed' at Russia decision

2016-07-25 09:02

Sydney - The Australian government voiced disappointment on Monday with the IOC's failure to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics, warning a "suspicion of compromised integrity" now hung over the Games.

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday opted against an outright ban on Russia over a state-run doping scandal in order to protect the rights of clean competitors.

Instead it said each sport's federation needed to establish a competitor's individual eligibility, a decision that flew in the face of recommendations by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA).

"I'm very disappointed," Sports Minister Sussan Ley said.

"The fight against doping in sport requires strong international leadership, none more so in this case, where the integrity of an entire Olympic and Paralympic Games is at stake."

Australia has been a long-standing member of WADA and Ley said the government strongly supported recommendations stemming from its McLaren Report that found evidence of a Russian government-backed doping system in a range of sports.

"I maintain the view that any actions less than what WADA has recommended at this critical point in time risks Rio being overshadowed by a contagious suspicion of compromised integrity and damaging the reputation of the Olympic movement," she said.

She added that "these issues must not be allowed to fade into the background at the conclusion of the Games".

Ley's comments contrasted with Australian Olympic team chef de mission Kitty Chiller, who endorsed the IOC move.

The sports minister said she was "urgently seeking the AOC's reassurance that Australian athletes will not be negatively impacted or unfairly disadvantaged by this decision".

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