The hits keep coming: Blanket weightlifter ban new blow for Russia ahead of Olympic Games

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) banned all eight Russian contenders – five men and three women – entered for Rio

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 July, 2016, 2:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 July, 2016, 12:12am

A ban on all Russian weightlifters dealt a new blow to the country ahead of an International Olympic Committee meeting on Saturday that will be dominated by multiple doping scandals.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) banned all eight Russian contenders – five men and three women – entered for Rio.

About 117 Russian competitors from the 387 initially put forward by the Russian Olympic Committee have now been banned from the Games. They include 67 track and field athletes.

Weightlifting’s reputation “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,” the IWF said.

“We would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters.”

Among those banned, Artem Okulov is a world champion while Ruslan Albegov took a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games and Tatiana Kashirina a silver.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken fierce criticism for not ordering a blanket ban on Russia after an independent report said there was state-organised doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The IOC executive is to meet on Saturday and Sunday to discuss the crisis before the full IOC meets from Monday.

Disharmony: Wada ‘disappointed’ as IOC fails to ban Russia from Olympic Games over doping scandal

World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) president Craig Reedie, who is also an IOC vice-president, is to give a report on the agency’s activities on Saturday. Reedie had led calls for a blanket ban on Russia over the doping.

The IOC decided last week however that individual sporting federations had to examine Russian entries and decide whether they should be allowed to compete.

The Olympic committee will take a final decision on Russian entries based on the recommendations. It is not yet known when this will be announced however.

Boxing, golf, gymnastics and taekwondo are among sports still to have announced their decisions.