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IOC Panel To Issue Final Rulings On Olympic Bans For Russians

Vladimir Morozov is one of two Russian swimmers who have been banned but were were due on July 31 to challenge the IOC's new rules against Russian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that a three-member panel will have the final say on which Russian athletes can compete at the 2016 Olympics.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said late on July 30 the three-member panel will make the final decisions after the decisions made for each individual athlete by the international federation for their sports have been reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Adams said the process would be completed by August 5, the day the 2016 Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro.

So far, at least 117 of the 387 athletes on Russia's 2016 Olympic team have been banned following an independent investigation that revealed a state-backed doping program in Russia.

The IOC decided on July 24 against banning all Russian athletes over the state-sponsored doping program, leaving the decision about each athlete up to their sport’s international federation.

But the IOC set strict criteria -- including a ban of all Russian athletes sanctioned for using performance-enhancing drugs in the past.

Russian athletes also have to have been tested for drugs outside of Russia to prove they are clean.

Meanwhile, two Russian swimmers who have been banned were due on July 31 to challenge the IOC's new rules against Russian athletes.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was scheduled to hold an emergency session in Rio on July 31 to hear the case of swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev, just five days before the start of the 2016 Olympics.

The move by the two Olympic medal winners was announced on July 30 as the IOC began two days of talks on fallout from the Russia doping crisis.

Morozov and Lobintsev have called on the court to declare the IOC's strict criteria for all Russian athletes "invalid and unenforceable."

Morozov and Lobintsev are among seven Russians banned by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) last week after the order.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa
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