Rio organizers suspect 'isolated' sabotage at athletes village

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In response to the state-run doping scheme, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opted not to issue a blanket ban of Russian athletes from the Rio Games, stating that kind of action would not protect the rights of Russias clean athletes.

But given president Vladimir Putin has said the Olympics are going to be far less of a spectacle without his Russian athletes competing, you can be sure Stars will be a must-watch event for the hundred or so people interested in turning up.

The Russian athletics federation has been banned from worldwide competition since November and last week the Russian Olympic Committee failed in a bid to get this ban overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"They have got us fired up but in a good way", said handball player Polina Kuznetsova of the cheering crowd at Moscow's Sheremetevo airport.

"Following the publication of the McLaren Investigation Report, the UCI immediately sought information from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) related to the sport of cycling and was informed that three riders named by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to compete in Rio 2016 were potentially implicated", it said in a statement.

RIO DE JANEIRO - A near-diplomatic incident - as Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes termed it - came to an end on Wednesday ahead of the Olympics.

Bach has been heavily criticized since the International Olympic Committee declined on Sunday to impose a blanket ban on Russian competitors in Rio, even after a World Anti-Doping Agency probe found evidence of a wide-ranging cheating system directed from the top.

The IOC will launch its new Olympic Channel next month following the closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The track team did, however, attend the ceremonial farewell with Putin on Wednesday, when the Russian president branded restrictions on Russia "pure discrimination".

Companies who are not Olympic sponsors are able to support their athlete and vice-versa, but only if they don't mention the competition or any "Olympic-related terms" directly.

South Korea has set out to grab at least 10 gold medals to finish in the top 10 in the fourth consecutive Summer Games.

Previously there had been a wave of expulsions from the federations in charge of swimming, rowing, sailing, canoeing and modern pentathlon, seriously depleting what had been a 387-strong team.

The Russian gymnastics team were one of the first to arrive in Rio and Russian media has reported its national federation saying it was not expecting any problems with being allowed to compete.

Some Russian athletes had flown to Rio in advance of the main delegation, including gymnasts and swimmers. Russia's head swim coach Sergei Kolmogorov told Russian agency R-Sport that swimmers barred from the games, including world 100-meter breaststroke champion Yulia Efimova, were at a pre-Olympic training camp in Brazil in the hope of a late reprieve to allow them to race in Rio.

There have been 108 Russians banned from the upcoming Olympics, including 67 of 68 members of the track-and-field team. "The changes that we had in the last few years are incredible", he said adding that "so, now we start the party, the celebration and a great celebration of sports". Eight Russian tennis players selected for the Olympics have been repeatedly subjected to the most stringent anti-doping program, outside of Russia.

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