The participation of Russian athletes in the Games has been cast further into question by Monday's World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report in which Russia is accused of overseeing a doping coverup. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is said to be considering a collective ban on Russian athletes, while the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is due to announce its decision on Russia's suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Thursday. Darya Klishina, who trains outside of the country, was the only Russian athlete who was permitted by the IAAF to compete as a neutral participant.
"We are waiting for the CAS decision. Tomorrow, we are due to hear the decision regarding the athletes. To prepare them [athletes] outside the country is a discriminatory demand. There is no basis for not trusting our athletes. They have already passed all doping tests over the last six months… Our athletes treat the Olympics very seriously. They are concerned about the events around the national team but this does not inhibit them," Zhukov told reporters.
Only the entire team will compete under the Russian flag, Zhukov stressed.
The WADA report was the latest in a line of doping allegations made against Russian athletes and sports institutions. In 2015, WADA's Independent Commission issued a report accusing Russia of numerous breaches of global anti-doping regulations, which led to the IAAF suspension. In May, US media alleged that dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi used performance enhancing drugs throughout the Games as part of a "state-run program." WADA launched a probe into the claims, publishing its McLaren report on Monday.