07:32 GMT10 July 2020
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    Moscow will continue protecting the rights of Russian athletes amid controversial decisions taken by sports authorities regarding Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams at the level of relevant international organizations, including the UN Human Rights Council, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He underlined that the ban of Russian athletes from Olympics is "blatant discrimination against Russian athletes and violation of their human rights" and such discriminatory acts "must not go unpunished."

    "The rule of law must be respected everywhere, including in this sphere [sports], because we are talking about illegal decisions. Moreover, the Olympic principle reads that sports should be out of politics. Of course, we will counter such practices using legal instruments and diplomatic means. We raise this issue in all international organizations and will continue to speak about it in the United Nations, including the UN Human Rights Council and other structures," Dolgov said.

    In July, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) presented a report accusing Russia of running a state-wide doping program and urging the Intentional Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider a blanket ban on the entire Russian team. The IOC instead opted to let individual sports federations decide on the matter.

    As a result, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned Russian athletes from taking part in international competitions including the 2016 Summer Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) later banned all Russian Paralympic athletes from the 2016 Summer Paralympics and the 2018 Winter Games.


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