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Published: 15:11 | 27/7/16

Putin: Russian ban a blow to Olympic Games

Vladimir Putin believes the decision to ban Russian athletes from the upcoming Rio Olympics will 'diminish the spectator value of the forthcoming events'.

The International Olympic Committee opted against a blanket ban on Russian competitors at the Rio Olympics, preferring to allow all international sports federations to make their own decision on Russia's participation following the World Anti-Doping Agency's report into state-sponsored doping in the country.

The IAAF has banned athletes from all track and field events, but Russia's fencing, volleyball and triathlon squads have been cleared to compete along with the country's equestrian, judo and tennis teams.

President Putin has hit out at the decision to ban some Russian athletes, claiming there is a 'deliberate campaign' against them.

“The deliberate campaign targeting our athletes was characterised by so-called double standards and opted for the idea of collective responsibility, which is not compatible with sport, justice in general, or the basic norms of law," said Putin.

"This is a blow to the entire sporting world and to the Olympic Games," said Putin. "It is obvious that the absence of Russian sportspeople -- leaders in many sporting disciplines -- will significantly affect the intensity of the competition and diminish the spectator value of the forthcoming events."

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