IOC backs IAAF decision to uphold Russian athlete ban

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Russian Free Olympics In Rio?

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ended any slim hopes that Russian athletes might have had of competing at the Rio Games in August by backing the IAAF's decision to extend its ban on the country for systematic doping on Saturday.

The IOC said in a statement it "fully respects" Friday's ruling by world athletics' governing body (IAAF) to maintain its suspension of the Russians.

The IOC added "the eligibility of athletes in any international competition including the Olympic Games is a matter for the respective international federation."

That was exactly what IAAF president Sebastian Coe said on Friday after the IAAF Council voted unanimously to retain the ban on Russia competing in any athletics events.

Rune Andersen, who heads the IAAF task force overseeing Russia's attempts to reform, said on Friday that a "deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, appears not to be materially changed."

"No athlete will compete in Rio under a Russian flag," he said.

He and Coe will therefore be relieved that the IOC came to the same conclusion after a teleconference of its executive committee on Saturday.

IOC president Thomas Bach had earlier this month given Russia hope that his organization might overrule the IAAF at its own meeting next week over concerns that innocent athletes would be punished, saying he "refused to speculate" whether the IAAF vote would be the end of the issue.

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A member of Russian honor guard listens to the Olympic Anthem during a welcome ceremony for the German Olympic team at the Mountain Olympic Village prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Members of the Italian team cheer as they enter the stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova carries the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Snowflakes transform into four Olympic rings with one failing to form during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Fireworks are seen over the Olympic Park during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Members of the Slovenian Cross-country ski team ski in front of Olympic rings at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Speedskaters from Russia train at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy compete in the team pairs short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Czech Republic's Sarka Pancochova takes a jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Kate Hansen of the United States prepares to start a run during the women's singles luge training at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Sweden's Niklas Mattsson finishes his first run during men's snowboard slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Goalkeeper Jennifer Harss of Germany reaches for the puck as Johanna Olofsson's of Sweden shot get by her for a goal during the third period of women's ice game at Shayba Arean during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Blinch, Pool)
Charles Hamelin of Canada celebrates winning the men's 1500m short track speedskating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11: Shaun White of the United States crashes out in the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Silver medallist Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands pulls his hair after completing his second heat for the men's 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Devin Logan of the United States takes a jump during the women's freestyle skiing slopestyle qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Qingshuang Yue of China during curling training on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Ice Cube on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Gold medallist Michel Mulder from the Netherlands clenches his fist after his second heat race in the men's 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Erin Hamlin of the United States hugs her parents Ron and Eileen Hamlin after the flower ceremony during the women's singles luge competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Hamlin won the bronze medal. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Shani Davis of the U.S. takes a breather after competing in the men's 1,000-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) loses his footing as he passes the puck from Czech Republic forward Martin Erat in the first period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Ashley Wagner of the United States reacts to her score after competing in the Figure Skating Team Ladies Short Program during day one of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Darren Cummings/Pool/Getty Images)
France's Marie Marchand-Arvier crashes into safety netting during the women's downhill at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Switzerland's Dominique Gisin reacts after finishing the women's downhill the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. She tied for first place with Slovenia's Tina Maze to win the gold medal.(AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
A referee signals a goal as Slovenia goaltender Robert Kristan lays on the ice after Russia defenseman Anton Belov scored in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Russia won 5-2.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey )
Katharine Eustace of New Zealand is met by her coach after her final run during the women's skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Norway’s skip Thomas Ulsrud, center, shouts to his sweepers Haavard Vad Petersson, left, and Christoffer Svae after delivering the rock during the men's curling competition against Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Women's downhill medalists, from left, Slovenia's Tina Maze and Switzerland's Dominique Gisin, who tied for the gold, and Switzerland's Lara Gut, who finished third for the bronze, pose with their medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Latvia defenseman Sandis Ozolins collides with Czech Republic forward Milan Michalek in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Li Jianrou of China celebrates winning the women's 500m short track speedskating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
USA forward T.J. Oshie prepares to take a shot against Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovski in an overtime shootout during a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Oshie scored the winning goal and the USA won 3-2. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Kamil Aizetulin gets his face painted in the colors of the Russian flag during a women's ski cross seeding run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
China's Wu Chao jumps during men's freestyle skiing aerials training at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Team Canada talk before thre game prior to the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A Game against Switzerland on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Mao Asada of Japan competes in the women's free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Members of Team Sweden and Team Finland mix it up during the 2014 Winter Olympics women's quarterfinal ice hockey game at Shayba Arena, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Men's super-G joint bronze medal winner Bode Miller of the United States is consoled by his wife, Morgan, at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Russia forward Pavel Datsyuk reacts after scoring a goal against the USA in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Sweden's Lars Nelson skis past a hole in the snow during the men's 4x10K cross-country relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Unidentified athletes ski through the fog as the men's biathlon 15K mass start race has been postponed due to the lack of visibility at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Russia defenseman Yevgeni Medvedev and USA forward Ryan Callahan shove each other in the first period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Kamil Stoch of Poland jumps during the Men`s Large Hill Individual 1st Round on day 8 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Germany's Andreas Wank, left, hugs huis teammates after winning the gold during the ski jumping large hill team competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic skates her way to gold in the women's 5,000-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
New Zealand's Beau-James Wells gets air during the men's ski halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Eric Frenzel of Germany celebrates as he wins the gold medal during the Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill and 10km Cross Country on day 5 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Nordic Combined Skiing Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
USA goaltender Jonathan Quick catches a shot on the goal during the first period of men's quarterfinal hockey game against the Czech Republic in Shayba Arena at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Hansin Lee of South Korea starts a run during the Men's Skeleton heats on Day 7 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Krystyna Palka of Poland competes during the Women's 4 x 6 km Relay during day 14 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Jo Alexander Koppang of Norway in the Luge during a training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Norway's Tora Berger shoots during the mixed biathlon relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Polina Edmunds of the United States competes in the women's short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Belarus' Nadezhda Skardino skis during a women's biathlon training session at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist blocks a shot by Finland during the third period of a men's semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Elise Christie of Great Britain (C) falls and collides with Seung-Hi Park of South Korea (L) and Arianna Fontana of Italy (R) as she competes in the Short Track Speed Skating Ladies' 500 m Final on day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Anna Fenninger of Austria in action during the Alpine Skiing Women's Super-G on day 8 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Carolina Kostner of Italy casts a shadow as she begins her routine in the figure skating exhibition gala at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Russia's gold medal winner Alexander Legkov, Russia's bronze medal winner Ilia Chernousov and Russia's silver medal winner Maxim Vylegzhanin, from right, rest in the finish area after the men's 50K cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 09: Sarah Hendrickson of the United States jumps during the Ladies' Normal Hill Individual Ski Jumping training on day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Canada's Justine Dufour-Lapointe, right, is congratulated by her sister, Chloe, after taking first place in the women's moguls final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Justine won the gold medal and Chloe took the silver. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Lydia Lassila of Australia practices before the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Aerials Qualification on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Fanny Smith of Switzerland, Anna Holmlund of Sweden, Katrin Ofner of Austria and Kelsey Serwa of Canada compete in the Freestyle Skiing Womens' Ski Cross Semi Finals on day 14 of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 12: Gold medalist Eric Frenzel of Germany jumps in celebration alongside silver medalist Akito Watabe of Japan (L) and bronze medalist Magnus Krog of Norway (R) during the flower ceremony for the Men?s Nordic Combined Individual Gundersen Normal Hill and 10km Cross Country on day 5 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Nordic Combined Skiing Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Lydia Lassila of Australia competes in the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Aerials Qualification on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 22: Sami Vatanen #45 and Tuomo Ruutu #15 of Finland celebrate with teammates after defeating the United States 5-0 during the Men's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game on Day 15 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 22, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Bronze medalist Amelie Kober, from left, of Germany silver medalist Anke Karstens, also of Germany,and gold medalist Julia Dujmovits, of Austria, take pictures after their flower ceremony for the women's snowboard parallel slalom at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(From L) Canada's gold medallists Duncan Keith, goalkeeper Carey Price and Jonathan Toews celebrate during the Men's Ice Hockey Medal Ceremony at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
The team from France FRA-1, with Loic Costerg, Romain Heinrich, Florent Ribet and Elly Lefort, react after their final run during the men's four-man bobsled competition final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Women's slalom gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States steps off of the podium after a flower ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
Fireworks explode over Olympic Park at the end of the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin also appeared to retain hope of a change when he said on Friday: "We'll talk to our colleagues at the anti-doping body, and I hope there'll be an appropriate response from the International Olympic Committee."

The only Russian athletes who might now compete in track and field in Rio are a handful -- thought to be fewer than five -- who are based outside the country and can apply to the IAAF for special dispensation to compete as independents.

It is the first time the country, which finished second behind the United States in the track and field medal table in the 2012 Games, will be absent since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles which they, along with several other Eastern Bloc countries, boycotted.

An IOC Olympic summit in Lausanne next Tuesday is still due to discuss the issue, along with reports that Russia put in a place a complex system to beat anti-doping measures at the Winter Olympics that it hosted in Sochi two years ago.

"The IOC will initiate further far-reaching measures in order to ensure a level playing field for all the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016," the organization said on Saturday.

"The upcoming Olympic summit on Tuesday will address the situation of the countries in which the National Anti-Doping Organisation has been declared non-compliant by WADA for reasons of the non-efficient functioning of the national anti-doping system."

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