10:28 GMT +312 December 2019
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    West Using Doping Scandal to 'Wage War Against Russia'

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    The regular flak Russian athletes are taking these days for their real or imaginary use of drugs is part of the “war against Russia,” Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert said in an interview with RTBF, a public broadcasting organization of the French Community of Belgium.

    “It seems to me that this is simply part of a worldwide war they are waging against Russia. The entire world has banded together, that’s why they are looking for any possible reason to take a pick at it,” Gilbert told RTBF during the ceremony of sending off the Belgian Olympic team to Rio de Janeiro.

    “First they sent Russia’s currency tumbling down and now they are attacking its athletes. I don’t like the way Russia is governed. I think that the whole world has united against Russia,” the 34-year-old said.

    On July 24, the IOC ruled against a blanket ban on the entire Russian team amid the doping scandal and left it to the respective international federations to decide on whether individual Russian athletes will be participating in the Rio Olympics.

    The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) three-member panel tasked with deciding the fate of Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics will render its final decision by Thursday, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov said Tuesday.

    "There is still no final list on the number of athletes participating in the Olympic Games. We are waiting for the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport] ruling followed by the commission’s final decision. The deadline is Thursday when competitions begin," Zhukov told reporters.

    The IOC three-member panel is chaired by Ugur Erdener and includes former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and athletes commission chair Claudia Bokel. IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams said over the weekend the panel would make its final decision before the Games kick off on Friday.

    On July 24, the IOC announced its decision to ban all Russian athletes with a record of doping violations from participating in 2016 Rio Olympic Games, while leaving it to the respective international federations to decide whether individual Russian athletes should be allowed to compete at the Games.

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    Tags:
    bias, doping scandal, holy war, Russian athletes, Russian Olympic Committee, Court of Arbitration for Sport, International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch, Ugur Erdener, Claudia Bokel, Alexander Zhukov, Philippe Gilbert, Russia, Belgium
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