Dmity Peskov, press secretary of Vladimir Putin, has welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to not implement a blanket ban on Russian athletes at Rio 2016 but revealed the President has no plans to attend the Opening Ceremony.
The threat of a total ban on Russian athletes from the Games had been recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and 14 National Anti-Doping Agencies, after Richard McLaren’s report uncovered a state-sponsored doping scheme which was in place at Sochi 2014 and several other major events.
Following a second emergency meeting of the ruling Executive Board yesterday, the IOC left the responsibility on the extent of Russian participation at next month’s Olympic Games to the International Federations (IFs).
Russian athletes will be cleared to compete as long as they can show they have fulfilled a set of stringent criteria.
Any Russian athletes who have been banned for doping, even if they have served their sanction, have been prohibited from taking part by the IOC.
Peskov praised the IOC’s decision to allow Russia to compete at the Games with the Kremlin claiming the country will cooperate with any investigation into the doping allegations.
"Undoubtedly we hail the decision to allow the so-called clean athletes to participate in the Olympic Games based on the decisions made by international Sports Federations,” he told the Russian news agency TASS.
"We believe this was a positive decision.
"I would like to reiterate the words that the Russian side is ready if necessary to provide full cooperation with all organisations to conduct the required investigation in order to give answers to all current questions of these organisations.”
Russia does remain banned from athletics competition after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) decision to suspend the Russian team.
Long jumper Darya Klishina is due to be the sole Russian track and field competitor to feature in Rio, because she is based in Florida and supposedly out of the Russian system.
Peskov's claims mirror those of Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who stated yesterday that they would “do everything to fight for the integrity and cleanliness of sport”.
Russia could also still face a ban from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opened suspension proceedings against the Russian National Paralympic Committee for "failing to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations".
Many had called for a blanket ban on the Russian team but the country accused western powers of orchestrating a political witch-hunt against them, and repeatedly insisted that a collective punishment would be unfair on clean athletes.
Despite avoiding the blanket ban, Peskov has claimed Putin will not attend the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016 on August 5, but stated he was unsure as to whether the Russian President would attend any competition at the Games.