FIG, the governing body of all the international gymnastics disciplines, has supported the decision of the International Olympic Committee to refuse imposing a total ban on the Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympic Games, the FIG press service said on Monday.
“The FIG has taken note of the IOC Executive Board’s decision concerning the participation of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympic Games and shall fully adhere to it. The FIG will – as soon as possible – establish the ‘Pool of Russian eligible athletes’ as per criteria stated in points 2 and 3 of the abovementioned IOC Executive Board decision,” the document stated.
On Sunday, July 24, the International Olympic Committee has reached a decision not to ban the Russian athletes from the upcoming Olympic Games in August, despite the World Anti-Doping Agency’s call for a blanket ban in response to the 325-page report that uncovered the state-backed doping scheme of the Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The IOC instead ruled the individual sports federations to confirm the athlete’s eligibility to participate in the competition.
The IOC, nonetheless, said that it will pay extra attention to the laboratory results of the Russian participants in Rio.
EOC, Uchimura Backs IOC’s Decision on Russian Athletes
Aside from the FIG, the IOC’s decision also received some support from renowned athletes and governing bodies, such as the European Olympic Committee. The EOC mentioned on Sunday that it approves the decision to allow the participation of the innocent athletes at the Olympic Games.
“The European Olympic Committees (EOC) completely supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to enable the participation of clean Russian athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, just days away,” EOC President Patrick Hickey said in a statement. “The Russian Olympic Committee’s commitment to ensuring Russia fields teams of clean athletes now and in the future is welcome. The EOC stands ready to provide the ROC with every assistance in this regard, with EOC members already at the forefront of the fight for clean sport.”
Reigning Olympic Champion and six-time world all-around gymnastics gold medalist Kohei Uchimura also expressed his views regarding the IOC’s decision. The Japanese artistic gymnastics star mentioned that he’s in favor of the action done by the IOC.
“It’s absolutely wrong to ban athletes who have not broken the rules. It (this decision) is good,” said the 27-year old Japanese artistic gymnast.
“Those who dope can’t complain even if they get banned for life,” Uchimura told the Kyodo news agency.
Even Tsunekazu Takeda, the president of the Japan Olympic Committee, was in favor of the IOC’s decision.
“It’s good to leave the international federations room to sanction those who can properly prove themselves clean,” he said.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21, 2016.
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