ICF bans five Russian athletes from Rio – Metro US

ICF bans five Russian athletes from Rio

(Reuters) – Five Russian canoe sprint athletes – including the 2012 Olympic champion Alexander Dyachenko – have been banned from competing at next month’s Rio Olympics by the International Canoe Federation (ICF), after they were implicated by the McLaren report.

Dyachenko, European Champion Andrey Kraitor, Olympic bronze medalist Alexey Korovashkov along with Elena Aniushina and Natalia Podolskaia have been banned, the ICF said on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday opted against a blanket ban on Russian athletes for the August 5-21 Games after evidence of state-sponsored doping of Russian athletes in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The IOC passed the baton to the international federations to clear individual athletes.

“This is a bitter blow for the Olympic movement and we are saddened that our sport in implicated,” Simon Toulson, the ICF secretary general said in a statement. “We have taken swift action and removed all offending athletes where doping evidence exists.”

The ICF added that it will not impose a federation wide ban for Russia, and issued immediate suspensions to the implicated athletes pending further investigation.

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru)