The International Olympic Committee waited until the day before the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics to make their ruling on how many Russian athletes would be allowed to compete in the Games. The protracted and diffuse process made for a logistical nightmare for some competitors, like cyclist Ilnur Zakarin, who was pulled off his flight to Rio at the last minute after finding out he was banned. Months after Russia’s massive, brazen state-run doping program was uncovered, the IOC made their final ruling tonight: 271 Russian athletes will compete at the Olympics. That’s less than the 389 Russia had hoped to enter, but certainly a healthy majority.
Track and field athletes were banned relatively early on in the process, but the IOC left much of the decision making up to the individual governing bodies of each sport. Because of the extent of Russia’s doping program, athletes had to prove their innocence rather than the burden of proof falling to the IOC. Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov held a press conference tonight and said that, because of the ban, Russia probably has the cleanest team at the Olympics:
“The Russian team may have experienced the toughest checks of the Olympics, because they had to go through multiple tests and checked,” said Zhukov.
“So, as of now, the Russian team is probably the cleanest in Rio.”
So, which sports are Russians banned from, and which are they allowed into?
- All Russian athletes competing in athletics and weightlifting are banned from Rio.
- All Russian athletes competing in archery, badminton, boxing, diving, equestrian, fencing, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, and water polo have been cleared by the IOC and will compete.
- Some Russian athletes competing in canoeing, cycling, rowing, sailing, swimming, and wrestling have been banned, while some are allowed to compete.
- Long jumper Dariya Klishina will be the lone athletics competitor, although she will compete as an independent.
- Yulia Efimova, who won a bronze medal in London, is still appealing her ban, and it’s not clear whether or not she’ll be able to swim. She is in Brazil currently.
- The primary whistleblower in the Russian doping case, Yuliya Sepanova, will not compete.
- Most of the rowing team has been disqualified (22 of 28 rowers).
- Most of the swimming team was allowed to compete (only five of the 35 were banned).
- Gymnast Aliya Mustafina, who won four medals in London, is clear to compete.
- The entire wrestling team is clear except for Viktor Lebedev.
We’ll update this post if appeals change anything.