The Olympic ban for Russia is confusing – so here are the answers to some of the questions you might have.
The controversy revolves around an alleged state sponsored doping scandal managed by the Russian secret service, which found a way to disrupt urine tests by swopping samples in supposedly tamper proof bottles.
The Rio Olympics start in brazil on August 5, but a lot of Russians won’t be going.
Who exactly is banned?
As of today, the entire Russian track and field athletics team is barred from competing in the games, but this could be extended to Russian representatives in every other sport if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides to take tougher action in a meeting on Sunday, July 24.
What is the ban about?
The Russian government and secret service is accused of sponsoring a doping program to enhance the performance of athletes across all sports – including events in the summer and winter Olympics.
Who banned the athletics team?
The International Association of Athletics Federations barred them in November after an independent report accused the Russians of the doping scandal.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the power to extend the ban to all sports at the games, but has yet to make a final decision.
What do the Russians say?
The Kremlin, secret service and athletes deny the allegations – well, they would wouldn’t they to avoid being branded as state-sponsored cheats.
But 68 athletes challenged the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but lost their case.
The government agreed to look at cleaning up doping in sport, but claims the scandal is a Western-inspired conspiracy because foreign athletes feared Russia’s growing dominance in many sports.
How any medals would the Russians have won?
It’s difficult to say, but in the London Olympics 2012, the Russians had a haul of 80 medals – 23 gold, 25 silver and 32 bronze, which was the fourth largest tally at the games.
Maria Sharapova, the tennis player discredited in another doping case, won silver in tennis.
Discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova lost her silver medal and was banned for 10 years following a positive doping test, while steeplechaser Yuliya Zaripova was banned for 30 months after failing a dope test.