Olympic chiefs will explore “legal options” over a blanket ban on Russian athletes at next month’s Summer Games in Rio, it was announced Tuesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would weigh a collective ban versus “the right to individual justice” for athletes not implicated in the scandal. It will also retest Russian competitors and coaches involved in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, it said.
The IOC had been expected to rule Tuesday on whether Russia could compete at the Rio games, which begin in 17 days, after the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered a state-run doping scheme that masked at least 312 positive tests. It urged a full ban of the Russian team.
However, the IOC's decision was complicated by a separate process in which the Court of Arbitration for Sport — the final authority on world sports events — is considering a parallel appeal by 68 Russian track and field competitors who were already banned from Rio by their global governing body, the IAAF. The CAS is due to rule on their fate by Thursday.
"With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the [WADA] report," the statement said.
"It will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice."
The IOC has begun disciplinary action against officials mentioned in the WADA report and said that anyone implicated would not be given accreditation for Rio, the statement added.
It also indicated it would freeze any future plans for events in Russia and would not back the European Games, scheduled for the country in 2019.