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AOC and Tallent back Russia ban

  • AOC and Tallent back Russia ban

    The AOC and Jared Tallent have welcomed the decision to ban the Russian track and field team in Rio.

The Australian Olympic Committee and newly-crowned Olympic champion Jared Tallent have welcomed the decision to continue the ban on the Russian track and field team at the Rio Games.

The IAAF decided overnight to uphold a competition ban on Russia ruling they hadn't met readmission criteria imposed when they were suspended over widespread state-sponsored doping last year.

AOC president John Coates said they supported the move by the athletics world governing body.

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"The AOC welcomes the IAAF decision overnight to maintain its suspension of the Russian athletics federation," Coates said at a press conference in Melbourne on Saturday.

Also an IOC vice-president, Coates will head to Lausanne, Switzerland, for an IOC summit on Tuesday, where Russia is expected to push the body to overturn the decision.

But Coates didn't believe the IOC would over-rule the IAAF ban, and also believed Russia may face a similar fate in swimming and weight-lifting.

"We will consider it but I'd be very, very surprised," Coates said.

"It's an international federation's right to suspend a national federation and I don't think we would overturn that at all."

Coates said the focus of the meeting would be for the IOC to set guidelines for the IAAF to allow individual Russian athletes to compete in Rio provided they had met certain conditions such as passing drug tests outside of Russia.

Tallent on Friday was presented with his gold medal from the men's 50km walk at the London Olympics, where he crossed the line second behind Russian drug cheat Sergey Kirdyapkin.

Tallent said it would change the way his Rio event was raced, with the Russians a force in race walking.

"There's athletes who probably never thought they had a chance to win a medal will now believe they've got a chance so it's a very positive day for the event and I'm looking forward to racing in Rio with other clean athletes to see who's the best," Tallent said.

"It's a great step not to have Russia there because if you think back to the Olympics I've been too, all Russian medallists in the event have later been banned for doping and now that won't happen in Rio."

The Australian Olympic team's chef de mission Kitty Chiller had a blunt message for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had complained that the ban was unfair.

"I would say, look at Jared Tallent," Chiller said.

"The state-sponsored systemic doping that he's overseen has been unfair to the world's athletes for the last how many years."

Chiller said she didn't believe that all athletes in Rio would be clean.

"The steps that have been taken by the IAAF and IOC to continue absolute zero tolerance to doping is a positive step.

"It's not going to be 100 per cent clean in Rio but at least steps are being taken now and everything is moving in the right direction."

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