MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko said a decision by the International Weightlifting Federation to ban Russia weightlifters from the Rio Olympics was like "a psychotic episode", R-Sport news agency reported on Thursday.

"It is a psychotic episode, as if it is dictated, accompanied by a departure from the principals and norms," R-Sport quoted Mutko as saying. "How can you punish a team which should go to the Olympic Games in 2016 for violations from 2008 or 2012? I don't know."

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Maria Tsvetkova)