ITF clears Russian tennis team for Rio Olympics after IOC decision against blanket ban

London, United Kingdom: Russia's eight-strong tennis team for the Rio Olympics was cleared to play by the International Tennis Federation on Sunday after the International Olympic Committee opted against a blanket ban for state-backed sports doping.

The ITF said that the players nominated by Russia all met the requirements set down to guarantee their participation at the Games which start on August 5.

IOC decided against a blanket ban on Russia over doping charges. AP

IOC decided against a blanket ban on Russia over doping charges. AP

All eight have "been subject to a rigorous anti-doping testing programme outside Russia".

This included a total of 205 samples collected since 2014, of which 83 (40%) were collected in-competition and 122 (60%) out-of-competition.

Also 111 (54%) were urine samples and 94 (46%) were blood samples.

"The ITF believes that this is sufficient for the eight Russian tennis players to meet the relevant requirement of today’s decision of the IOC Executive Board," said an ITF statement.

The Russian team is made up of Andrey Kuznetsov, Evgeny Donskoy and Teymuraz Gabashvili in the men's singles.

In women's singles, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Darya Kasatkina and Ekaterina Makarova will play while Elena Vesnina features in the women's doubles.

"The ITF will be seeking confirmation from WADA that none of those players, or the Russian Tennis Federation, were implicated in the McLaren report, in accordance with the IOC decision," added the ITF statement.

"The ITF believes it is right that clean athletes are permitted to compete in Rio 2016 and looks forward to welcoming the Russian tennis players, along with all other nominated athletes, to Rio."

Russia will be without former world number one Maria Sharapova who is already serving a two-year ban after testing positive for meldonium in January.

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Updated Date: Jul 24, 2016 23:23:52 IST

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