Quotebox: Reaction to Olympic ruling not to ban Russia


MOSCOW (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has opted against imposing a blanket ban on the Russian team for next month’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

Meeting after World Anti-Doping Agency reports alleged widespread doping and state-backed cover-ups of failed drug tests by Russians, the IOC ruled that a ban across all sports would unjustly punish clean athletes in Russia.

However, the IOC has placed restrictions on the Russian team, including a measure barring the selection of any athletes who have previously served doping bans. It also set out eligibility criteria for the various international federations of Olympic sports.

Here is a look at the reaction in Russia and around the world:

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“An athlete should not suffer and should not be sanctioned for a system in which he was not implicated and where he can show that he was not implicated…At the end of the day, we have to be able to look in the eye of the individual athletes concerned by this decision.” — IOC President Thomas Bach, a former Olympic fencer, tells reporters why the IOC did not impose a blanket ban on Russia.

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“When a crime is committed, the guilty party is tried and punished, but you don’t put his family, friends and acquaintances behind bars just because they knew the criminal or they live in the same town.” — Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov in an address to the IOC board ahead of its ruling not to impose a blanket ban.

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“Many, including clean athletes and whistleblowers, have demonstrated courage and strength in confronting a culture of state-supported doping and corruption within Russia. Disappointingly, however, in response to the most important moment for clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic Games, the IOC has refused to take decisive leadership. The decision regarding Russian participation and the confusing mess left in its wake is a significant blow to the rights of clean athletes.” — U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart.

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“The IOC decision was to be expected. You can’t behave improperly toward a power like Russia.” — Gennady Alyoshin, a Russian Olympic Committee official, in comments to Tass.

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“We are grateful to the IOC for allowing Russian athletes in. I’m sure that the majority of the Russian national team will be able to comply with the criteria.” — Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.

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“Well, that’s the IOC board off my Xmas card list then,” — Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford of Britain on Twitter.

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“We have created and been through the process. We know how hard it is emotionally and rationally to get the process right… We continue to stand by to assist and offer advice to any international sports federations.” Sebastian Coe, head of track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, which barred all but one Russian athlete.

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“Raising her to the status of a hero is like stupidly spitting in all our faces. So it’s right that she can’t compete at the Olympics. At least one wise decision on track and field has been taken.” — Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva discusses the IOC’s refusal to let doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova race in Rio, in comments to R-Sport.

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