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Czech athletes appreciate IOC does not ban all Russians from Rio

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Prague, July 24 (CTK) – Top Czech athletes agree with the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision not to ban Russia from Rio 2016 as punishment for the state-organised doping programme, they said on Sunday.

Czech Olympic Committee head Jiri Kejval said the IOC decision is acceptable for everybody. It is reasonable to let the international federations of individual sports make the decision because these federations know it best whether the athletes observed the rules, he told Czech Radio (CRo).

“There are big differences in the application of banned devices in various sports,” Kejval said.

Jiri Prskavec, Czech world champion in slalom kayaking, said he is glad that the IOC did not ban all Russian athletes from the Games.

He told CTK that all of them should not be banned from the Games when there is no evidence of their doping.

Prskavec said he considered the decision to ban all the track and field athletes from Rio bad, too.

“I feel very sorry for (pole-vault champion Yelena) Isinbayeva. I believe that she has nothing to do with doping,” he said.

Two-times Olympic winner in javelin throw, Barbora Spotakova, said previously she is against blanket bans because innocent people suffered. “However, it needs to be taken into account whether the Russians met the conditions of the international federation and put the situation right,” she said.

“I believe that in my sport Russians do not take dope. It would be sad if they could not race at the Olympics,” Czech whitewater slalom world champion Katerina Kudejova said.

“It would be unfair if they excluded them all,” Czech swimmer Barbora Zavadova said about the Russian athletes. “But there should be some bigger punishment. It seems to be good that such a big sport as track and field was punished,” she said.

Kayak world champion Josef Dostal said the presumption of innocence should be applied. Those who organised the doping in Russia should be punished, he said.

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