Russian tennis players cleared to compete in Rio


The seven tennis players nominated to represent Russia in the Rio 2016 Olympics have been cleared to compete by the sport's governing body.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opted against imposing a blanket ban from the Games on Russian competitors, after an independent report found a "state-dictated" system had been in operation to protect doped athletes from the country.

The international federations of each sport have been left to determine whether Russian athletes can compete in their respective events.

And the International Tennis Federation (ITF) confirmed it is satisfied that the seven players nominated by Russia - Andrey Kuznetsov, Evgeny Donskoy, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daria Kasatkina and Ekaterina Makarova - meet strict criteria set out by the IOC.

An ITF statement read: "The findings in the McLaren report that describe systematic and widespread doping in Russia are of great concern to everyone involved in sport, including the International Tennis Federation.

"Nonetheless, the ITF welcomes the decision of the IOC to permit clean athletes to compete in Rio 2016 and to let each international federation determine the eligibility of its respective Russian athletes.

"The seven Russian tennis players who have been nominated to compete in Rio have been subject to a rigorous anti-doping testing programme outside Russia.

"The ITF believes that this is sufficient for the seven Russian tennis players to meet the relevant requirement of today's decision of the IOC executive board. The ITF will also be seeking confirmation from WADA that none of those players, or the Russian Tennis Federation, were implicated in the McLaren report, in accordance with the IOC decision.

"The ITF believes it is right that clean athletes are permitted to compete in Rio 2016 and looks forward to welcoming the Russian tennis players, along with all other nominated athletes, to Rio."