This file photo taken on February 23, 2014 shows an Olympic Games flag and a Russian flag waving during the closing ceremony of the winter Olympics in Sotchi. AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC
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Short of a blanket ban, the International Olympic Committee could leave it to individual sports federations to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow Russian athletes in their events.Russia's track and field athletes have already been banned by the IAAF, the sport's governing body, following allegations of state-directed doping – a decision that was upheld Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Calls for a complete ban on Russia have intensified since Monday when Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, issued a report accusing Russia's sports ministry of overseeing a vast doping program of its Olympic athletes.Russia also faces a possible ban from the Paralympic Games. Citing evidence in McLaren's report of doping among Russian Paralympic athletes, the International Paralympic Committee said Friday it will decide next month whether to exclude the country from the Sept. 7-18 event in Rio.For many in the anti-doping community, however, the choice is simple: The extent of state-backed doping in Russia has tainted the country's entire sports system and the only way to ensure a level playing field is to bar the whole team, even if some innocent athletes will lose out.
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