The Latest: Putin talks of ‘discrimination’ against athletes


LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the Rio Games (all times local to Rio de Janeiro):

9:30 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russian track and field athletes are victims of “discrimination” that the country is “not going to put up with.”

Putin was addressing athletes at the Kremlin before the Russian Olympic team was due to fly out to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday, while dozens of the track and field athletes who are not eligible to compete in the Rio Games also attended.

Those barred from competing, Putin says, are victims of “double standards” and a campaign against Russian sports.

Two-time Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and European hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov were among those in attendance not eligible for Rio.

Continuing his address, Putin told his audience “your colleagues from other sports powers realize that the value of their medals will be different,” because “this victory will have a different taste – or no taste at all.”

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8:35 a.m.

The depleted Russian Olympic team, including some track and field athletes barred from competing, is taking part in a send-off ceremony in Moscow before flying out to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Thursday.

The traditional ceremony, which includes a prayer at a Moscow Kremlin cathedral, began with the laying of wreaths at World War II’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall.

Dressed in national uniform, the athletes walked across Red Square to meet President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Two-time Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and European hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov were spotted on Red Square mingling with the team — despite the fact that they are not going to Rio.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport last week rejected the appeal by Russian track and field athletes against the ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

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8:20 a.m.

The IAAF has rebuffed Russia’s latest bid to overturn the ban on most of its track and field team competing at the Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport last week rejected the appeal by Russian track and field athletes against the ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

Long jumper Darya Klishina is the only athlete eligible to represent Russia out of the 68 who were entered.

Track and field’s governing body says it received a letter Tuesday from Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko on Tuesday “requesting a review” but the IAAF responded by saying “there are no grounds for further review.”

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8 a.m.

Russian fencers are cleared to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after the sport’s governing body found no grounds to exclude any of the team for doping.

The International Fencing Federation announcement was positive news for Russia, which has seen at least 105 athletes from its 387-strong Olympic team banned so far over the country’s doping scandal.

The IFF says 197 tests taken from Russian athletes in 35 countries over the last two years were all negative.

Sixteen Russian fencers have qualified for the Rio Games and there are four reserves.

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