IOC panel to make final decision on Russian athletes for Rio Games

Rio de Janeiro: A three-member International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board panel has been selected to make final decisions on the eligibility of all Russian athletes competing at Rio Games, starting on August 5. The panel will be made up of IOC Athletes' Commission chairwoman Claudia Bokel of Germany, IOC Medical Commission Chairman Ugur Erdener of Turkey and Spain's Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former IOC boss from 1980 to 2001, it was announced on Saturday. On July 24, the IOC held a meeting of its executive board to discuss possible blanket ban of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics. The IOC Executive Committee decided not to ban the Russian team. Individual decisions on Russian athletes have been referred to relevant international federations. IOC spokesman Mark Adams told a press conference that the trio will make rulings based on independent advice from arbitrators from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). "It is important the IOC takes the final decision based on independent advice," said Adams. He added that the process would be completed by Friday, the day the Games open.