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IOC Approves 271 Russian Athletes to Compete in Rio Olympics, 118 Banned

Members of the Russian Olympic delegation line up to board a bus after arriving at the Rio de Janeiro International Airport July 29, 2016, to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The International Olympic Committee has approved 271 Russian athletes to compete in the Summer Games opening Friday in Rio de Janeiro, after a state-approved doping scandal put Russian participation in this year's games in doubt.

The IOC announced its decision Thursday night, less than 24 hours before the Olympic flame is lit, signifying the games are officially open.

"I think there is no other team that is so clean and carefully controlled as the Russian one," Russian Olympic president Alexander Zhukov declared.

But 118 Russians are still barred from competition, meaning the Russians will field their smallest Olympic team since 1912.

There will be no Russian track and field, rowing or weightlifting teams this year. But the IOC is continuing to hear Russian cases, and more athletes could be allowed to compete before the games end.

Russia entered 389 athletes for the Rio games.

The entire Russian team was facing a ban after it was revealed that many of them had taken performance enhancing drugs with the approval of the Russian sports ministry -- along with evidence that Russian officials tried to cover up the allegations.

While many Russian Olympians never used drugs, IOC President Thomas Bach said that the seriousness of doping charges placed the presumption of innocence for individual athletes in doubt.

Olympic officials later decided to let the international sports federations decide which individual athletes could compete in Rio after a review of their doping records.