IOC president defends stance of not using "nuclear option" regarding Russia's Olympic involvement

"On behalf of all these supporters I reject this insinuation in the strongest terms"

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has likened a complete ban for Russia from the Rio Games to a "nuclear option".

Individual sports federations have been left to decide whether or not Russians should compete after state sponsored doping was revealed.

Bach claims that approach is not a soft option.

"This blanket ban of the Russian Olympic Committee has been called by some the 'nuclear option' and the innocent athletes would have to be considered as collateral damage. Leaving aside that such a comparison is completely out of any proportion when it comes to the rules of sport. Let us just for a moment consider the consequences of a nuclear option. The result is death and devastation. The cynical collateral damage approach is not what the Olympic movement stands for," said Bach.

He also had strong words for critics of the IOC's handling of the Russia scandal, saying: "What is not acceptable is the insinuation of some proponents of the blanket ban that those who do not share their opinions are not fighting against doping.

"On behalf of all these supporters I reject this insinuation in the strongest terms. We may disagree how we get there but we all work toward the same goal of protecting clean athletes."