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Russia picks provisional team for Rio

The Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Russia named 68 athletes on Tuesday it wants to send to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro if its global ban from athletics is lifted.

The list approved by the suspended All-Russia Athletic Federation appears to contradict an earlier promise not to send any athletes who have previously been banned for doping offenses.

Former world indoor champion triple jumper Yekaterina Koneva makes the list even though she served a ban from 2007-09. Other notable athletes with past doping offenses have been left out.

ARAF promised in May not to select former dopers as it tried to persuade the IAAF to lift its suspension. That attempt failed last month when the IAAF upheld the ban.

ARAF said all 68 met Olympic qualifying standards and registered as plaintiffs in the Russian Olympic Committee’s suit at the Court of Arbitration for Sport aiming to lift the ban on the Russia team. They have also been “confirmed by the ARAF main coaching council and presidium,” the federation said.

CAS is due to hear the claim on July 19 and rule by July 21.

Russia was suspended by the IAAF in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency report detailed widespread doping allegedly supported by the Russian state.

The list of 68 includes numerous potential medal contenders in Rio such as two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, world 110-meter hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov, and Olympic high jump gold medalist Ivan Ukhov.

Olympic high jump gold medalist Anna Chicherova was cut from the Rio team after she was provisionally suspended by the IAAF for failing a retest of her sample from the 2008 Olympics, the Russian Olympic Committee has said.

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