The International Olympic Committee held showdown talks Sunday on whether to ban Russia from the Rio Games over state-run doping, an unprecedented decision that could spark the Olympic movement's worst crisis in decades. WADA, along with 14 national anti-doping agencies -- including the United States, Canada and Germany -- and multiple national Olympic committees have called for Russia's blanket ban from Rio de Janeiro.
Officials in Moscow led by Russian President Vladimir Putin have vowed to crack down on doping while rejecting the validity of a blanket ban.
While countries have been banned from past Games for political reasons, throwing an entire nation out for drug cheating would be a first.


Russia's track and field team is already barred over drug cheating.IOC chief Thomas Bach began a conference call with the organisation's powerful executive at midday (1000 GMT), the IOC press office said. That would be consistent with the IAAF approach, which was endorsed by CAS.- Collective punishment?
But the IOC is facing global pressure to take exemplary action given the stunning nature of the allegations against Russia, as well as a run against the clock because the Olympics start in less than two weeks.An independent report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Russia's sports ministry directed a vast doping programme with support from the state intelligence agency that saw thousands of tainted urine samples destroyed or swapped for clean ones.
The most extensive set of national bans came at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, when a long list of World War I "aggressors" -- including Germany, Austria, Turkey and Hungary -- were not invited.Multiple countries have boycotted Games, however, notably the United States at Moscow 1980, which preceded Russia's boycott of Los Angeles 1984.


The cheating affected 30 sports and went on during the 2014 Sochi Games and other major Olympic and international events, according to the WADA report released last week by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren. With the Games set to start on August 5 -- and the Russian Olympic Committee having already approved a 387-member team for Rio -- the IOC needs a quick answer to one of the toughest questions it has faced in recent history.



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