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Doping Report Release To Affect Russia's Olympic Chances

The scheduled release of a report on allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russian sports could affect the participation of the country's athletes in the Rio Summer Olympics.

Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren was tasked by the World Anti-Doping Agency with investigating allegations by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, of widespread use in Russia of performance-enhancing drugs directed by Russian officials.

McLaren's report is due to be released on July 18.

Rodchenkov, who was dismissed from his job in November and now lives in the United States, claimed in a May article in The New York Times that Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officials took part in manipulating Russian doping tests at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

With the Rio Olympics opening in just three weeks (August 5), anti-doping and International Olympic Committee officials have said the McLaren report will play a key role in any potential ban on Russian Olympians.

Russia is already barred from taking part in international track-and-field events by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and its weightlifting team is also currently under suspension.

Some anti-doping officials have said they will call for a complete ban of Russian athletes if McLaren's report confirms Rodchenkov's charges.

The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is also expected to rule this week on the appeals by 68 Russian athletes to be allowed to take part in the Olympics despite the IAAF ban.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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