Decision on collective ban on Russian athletes delayed as IOC look at all 'legal options'

A recent report brought to light the extent of the doping culture surrounding Russian athletics

The International Olympic Committee will explore their legal options before deciding whether they will hand a "collective ban" to all Russian athletes attempting to compete at the Rio Olympics.

The "state-sponsored doping programme" that was highlighted in a recent report by Richard McLaren, said that Russia's sports ministry "directed, controlled and oversaw" a widespread doping culture.

“The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Richard McLaren's report found that hundreds of positive results were hidden and that "the vast majority of summer and winter Olympic sports” had benefited from a system to make positive results disappear.

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA's president, called for the IOC to "decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes" submitted by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic committees.

Meanwhile, the IOC says it plans to re-test all Russians who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.