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Decision on Russia Olympics ban put on hold

Russian athletes could be stopped from participating in Brazil. Credit: PA

The International Olympic Committee have delayed their decision on whether to ban all Russian athletes from Rio 2016 until Friday.

An appeal against a previous sanction against Russia will be heard on Thursday by The Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IOC say they 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".

With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the IP Report. 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. In this respect, the IOC will have to take the CAS decision on 21 July 2016 concerning the IAAF rules into consideration, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter.

– IOC statement

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Russian doping whistleblower to run as neutral in Rio

Russian doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova has become the first athlete to be granted permission to compete at the Rio Olympics under a neutral flag.

The 29-year-old 800m runner passed the "exceptional eligibility" guidelines set out by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The IAAF has received more than 80 applications from Russian athletes seeking exceptional eligibility to compete in an individual capacity. Credit: Reuters

The IAAF voted last month to maintain a global competition ban on the All-Russia Athletic Federation.

Stepanova turned whistleblower after receiving a ban for abnormalities with her biological passport.

She and her husband colluded with a journalist in secretly taping Russian athletes and coaches, which exposed the systemic and state-sponsored doping programme.

Putin: Cameron may have called EU referendum to 'blackmail Europe'

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that David Cameron may have called a referendum on the European Union "to blackmail Europe" - but said the decision is "the business of the people of the UK".

President Putin added that while he had his own opinion on whether the UK should stay in the EU, he would refrain from expressing it.

I don't think this is very proper to engage Russia in all the problems, even if we are not involved in it, to make Russia a scarecrow. Civilised people do not do things this way.

As for the Prime Minister of the UK, there is a great problem with Brexit, why did he initiate this vote in the first place? Why did he do that? So he wanted to blackmail Europe or to scare someone, what was the goal if he was against?

I want to say it is none of our business, it is the business of the people of the UK. I have my own opinion on this matter, I cannot talk about the result yet - no one knows about the result yet, I think it is 50-50 with a certain margin of error.

– Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Russian president singled out controversial EU fishing laws as what he perceived to be a particular bone of contention for some Britons.

Politicians including Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond - who is campaigning to remain - have speculated that President Putin would relish a Brexit as a way of weakening the EU and allowing Russia greater scope to reassert itself.

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