Russia says it backs IOC over Beijing doping action

Russia's sports ministry said on Wednesday it fully supports actions by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bar athletes who dope from competitions, but said clean athletes should not be excluded from the Rio games.

The ministry issued a statement in response to the IOC's announcement that suspicious test results were found in the cases of 31 competitors in the 2008 Beijing games, and that they may be banned from Rio.

"We strongly believe that clean athletes, who have spent years of their lives training for the Games, should not be deprived of the right to participate," the ministry said in its statement.

"Moreover, we are willing to fully cooperate with WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) in their investigation and we have officially informed WADA of this."