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IOC delays decision, says to explore legal options for Russia ban

BERNE (Reuters) - Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics was still in the balance on Tuesday after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would "explore legal options" for banning the country from the Games.

At an emergency IOC Executive Board meeting in Switzerland, the day after an independent report detailed a systematic and state-run doping programme in Russia, members fell short of an immediate ban.

"With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the IP Report," a statement said.

"It will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice.

"In this respect, the IOC will have to take the CAS decision on 21 July 2016 concerning the IAAF rules into consideration, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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