IOC President Thomas Bach says the International Olympic Committee will leave the decision up to each sports federation on whether to allow Russian athletes, on an individual basis, to participate in the Rio Olympics. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not impose a blanket ban on Russia for next month's Rio Olympics over the nation's doping record, but will leave decisions on individual athletes' participation with their sports federations, it said on Sunday (July 24). The IOC's announcement follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) call for a Rio ban in response to the independent McLaren report, which found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The IOC's governing 15-member executive board met on Sunday via teleconference -- with the Rio Games' Aug. 5 opening ceremony less than two weeks away -- and decided that responsibility for ruling on the eligibility of Russians remains with the international federations. IOC President Thomas Bach said in a telephone conference after the news was released that the presumption of innocence would be reversed if all athletes had to assume collective responsibility, so natural justice meant they should be given the chance to prove themselves innocent and compete in Rio.