Three Russian Olympic cyclists 'potentially implicated' in McLaren doping report

The UCI says it is in the process of "identifying relevant rider samples" after three Russians selected for the Olympics potentially implicated in doping report

Olympic Rings (Flickr/Department of Culture, Media and Sport)

The UCI has revealed it is in the process of identifying samples of three Russian Olympic cyclists potentially implicated in the McLaren doping report to determine whether they can compete in Rio next month.

The International Olympic Committee left it to the individual sports' governing bodies to decide whether competitors should be banned from the games when it decided not to issue a blanket expulsion for the country.

Following the publication of the damning report, in which it was claimed 26 positive tests by cyclists were covered up, the UCI sought further information from WADA.

"[The UCI] was informed that three riders named by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to compete in Rio 2016 were potentially implicated," said a UCI statement.

"The UCI, through the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), is in the process of identifying relevant rider samples and is in close dialogue with WADA to move forward with these cases immediately. It has also passed the names of these three athletes to the IOC in the context of its Executive Board decision."

The governing body also revealed that three other riders have been withdrawn from the Games, which start on August 5, because they have been previously sanctioned for Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

It is believed that Tour de France stage winner Ilnur Zakarin is among these riders withdrawn by the Russian Olympic Committee in accordance with the IOC's ruling, having been handed a two-year ban in 2009.

The other 11 cyclists selected by the ROC have been cleared to compete in Rio, with the UCI and CADF analysing their testing history.

"The UCI is absolutely committed to protecting the rights of clean athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and beyond," the UCI statement concluded.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.