China on Russia's Olympic ban: 'Rights of clean athletes must be protected'

China on Russia's Olympic ban: 'Rights of clean athletes must be protected' Photograph:( Others )

Reuters Beijing, China Dec 06, 2017, 11.47 AM (IST)

China responded to the Russia Olympic ban on Wednesday (December 6) by saying that it has "always opposed" doping but added that the "rights of all clean athletes" should be protected.

The comments came from Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

The IOC banned Russia on Tuesday (December 5) from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games after evidence emerged of an "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system. This followed a similar ban, also for doping, on Russia for the 2016 Rio (summer) Olympic Games. The door was left open, however, for Russians to compete as an "Olympic Athlete of Russia" as long as they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced in October that it will investigate allegations made by a retired physician that systematic doping took place in Chinese sport during the 1980s and 1990s.

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