HomeArticlesRio OlympicsBadminton clears Russian players for Olympic Games

Badminton clears Russian players for Olympic Games

Badminton is the latest sport to clear Russian competitors to take part in the Olympic Games as the nation’s athletes begin to travel to Brazil.

Governing bodies must rule on whether Russian athletes can compete in Rio following the country’s doping scandal.

So far 108 of the 387-strong Russian team have been banned from the Games, which get under way on 5 August.

The final line-up will be announced on 30-31 July, according to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

“We have had a rigid drug-testing programme, especially leading up to Rio 2016, and all four Russian athletes have been tested in and out of competition and their samples have been analysed outside of Russia,” said Badminton World Federation’s (BFW) Thomas Lund.

Boxing, cycling, golf, gymnastics, handball, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling are still to confirm their eligibility decisions.

“We will tell how many people will go in the next few days,” said Alexander Zhukov, the head of the ROC.

‘We will fight for those not able to go’

About 70 Russian athletes left Moscow for Brazil on Wednesday, following a farewell ceremony hosted by Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

“They have got us fired up but in a good way,” said handball player Polina Kuznetsova of the cheering crowd at Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport.

“We are going to fight more to prove that it is difficult to break Russia. We will fight for those who were not able to go.”

Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov are among 67 of the 68-strong athletics team to have been banned by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF).

Isinbayeva corrected reports on Thursday suggesting she might be the Russian team’s flag bearer in Rio, despite not being able to compete.

“We should clarify one very important thing!” she said via Instagram. “Flag bearer at the Olympics in Rio have already been defined, it is a great athlete, Olympic champion Sergey Tetyukhin (volleyball).”

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