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Moscow 'grateful' for IOC decision not to impose blanket ban on Russian athletes in Rio

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Moscow 'grateful' for IOC decision not to impose blanket ban on Russian athletes in Rio

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Russia’s Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko has said he is ‘grateful’ to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for not imposing a blanket ban on Russia competing at the Rio Olympics.

He said he hoped that the majority of sports federations will support the right of Russian athletes to compete in the Games.

“Of course, this is a very important decision,” Mutko told local media in Moscow. “And it seems to me that it has been taken in the interest of the unity of the sport world, in the interest of the unity of the Olympic family – because doping is an evil on a world scale. It is not only a Russian problem, and of course we can address it by combining our efforts.

“We are ready, on a fair basis, in cooperation with the IOC, and with the IOC independent committee, together with WADA, to reformat the entire (anti) doping system,” Mutko also said.

With no blanket ban, it will be up to global federations to decide which Russian athletes to accept in their sports at the Rio Games.

The IOC decision follows the discovery of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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