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  • Maria Verchenova of Russia tees off the 16th hole during the first round of the Evian Masters golf tournament July 21, 2011.

    Maria Verchenova of Russia tees off the 16th hole during the first round of the Evian Masters golf tournament July 21, 2011. | Photo: Reuters

Russia have just 70 percent of its full Olympic team in Brazil due to a scandal over a state-run doping program.

Russia will be represented in most sports at the Rio Olympics, with 271 of its sportsmen and women cleared to participate ahead of the opening ceremony, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) head Alexander Zhukov said Thursday.

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"Not one team underwent such strict requirements as Russian athletes," he told a news conference in Rio. "No athletes from any country ... had the rules changed to bar those previously guilty of doping."

Russian boxers, judokas and shooters were among those given last-minute approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the aftermath of a doping scandal which has tarnished

Russia's depleted team will comprise about 70 percent of the 387-strong squad originally named for the Games.

The country's track-and-field athletes and weightlifters have already been banned over doping offences, and Russia narrowly avoided a complete ban over allegations its government and FSB security service systematically covered up widespread cheating.

The IOC chose not to impose a blanket ban on all Russian athletes at a meeting in July, but directed sports federations to allow them to compete if they met a set of criteria, including a clean doping past and sufficient testing at international events.

Russia has long drawn pride and prestige from its history of Olympic success. Speaking to the Russian team before they left for Rio last week, Putin said Russia's Olympic ambitions had fallen victim to a politically-motivated plot.


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