Closings & Delays

Rio 2016: Banned Russian athletes get their own games in Moscow

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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Olympic medallist Olga Kaniskina support athletes during a track and field meet called "Stars of 2016" in Moscow on July 28, 2016. Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian athletes banned from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games took part in an alternative competition in Moscow on the same day the national team left for Rio.

After missing out due to a blanket ban imposed by the IAAF on all of Russia’s track and field athletes for doping offenses, the country organized The Stars 2016 event.

Among the 53 banned athletes taking part on Thursday were Sergey Shubenkov, last year’s world 110 meters hurdles champion, and London 2012 high jump gold medalist Ivan Ukhov. Shubenkov insists he has never taken drugs, though Ukhov infamously was warned by the IAAF after trying to compete while drunk at a 2008 meeting in Lausanne.

Around 150 competitors took part at the Znamensky Brothers stadium, a 7,500-capacity arena usually reserved for the Moscow track and field championships.

Of the 68 Russian track and field athletes banned from Rio, just one — long jumper Darya Klishina — was granted permission to compete next month after she proved to the IAAF that she is clean.

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