Sports / Olympic Games

IOC decision on Russia slammed by Australian athletes, supported by Olympic officials

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-26 11:20
MELBOURNE -- The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to not ban the entire Russian team from competing at the Rio Olympics next month has been met with mixed reactions from the Australian Olympic camp.

Sam Coffa, a Melbourne-based weightlifting coach who is the most experienced member of Australia's Olympic team and vice-president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), said the IOC had left its sports with an unworkable mess.

"They have lit a fuse and then retreated into a bunker," Coffa told News Limited on Tuesday.

"They have failed us, they have failed sport, they have failed the movement and it has absolutely taken the gloss off the Olympic Games."

The IOC announced on Monday that it would not apply blanket bans to all Russian athletes for August's Rio Olympics over widespread state-sanctioned doping, instead leaving the decision with each sport's governing body.

The decision came despite the recommendation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that all Russian athletes be excluded from the Games and has split the Australian Olympic camp.

John Coates, Australia's most senior Olympic official and IOC vice-president, supported the decision of the IOC executive board despite labeling Russian officials as "rotten to the core" in June.

"We did not want to penalize the athletes who are clean with a collective ban and therefore keeping them out of the Games," Coates said on Tuesday.

Coates' position was endorsed by Australia's chef de mission Kitty Chiller who said the team's focus was now entirely on winning as many medals as possible regardless of the competition.

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