Olympic officials block a third of Russia's Rio roster amid doping scandal

About a third of Russian Olympics roster banned in Rio
(Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

When the Olympic Games opening ceremony begins Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, Russia will be short about a third of its slate of athletes, after the International Olympic Committee on Thursday approved 271 of Russia's 389 athletes to compete in the Games. The other 118 were barred amid a scandal over Russia's government-sanctioned doping regime. The barred athletes can appeal to a special Rio court of the world sporting arbitration panel, but the appeals could easily swamp the court, set up to adjudicate doping cases that arise at the Olympics.

The IOC said it based its decision on which Russians to ban after consulting with top officials in all 28 Summer Olympics sports, paying special attention to the drug-test history of each athlete. Anti-doping officials had called for Russia's entire roster to be banned. If the slate of 271 athletes stands, Russia will have a smaller delegation than 11 other countries, The New York Times reports, and fewer competitors than the 436 athletes Russia sent to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 556 the U.S. has competing in Brazil this year.

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