Russian weightlifters barred from Rio Games

Russian Khadzhimurat Akkaev reacts as he wins during the men's 105 kg weightlifting finals at the 90th Men's and 24th Women's European Senior Weightlifting Championships in Kazan, on April 16, 2011. He won the gold medal. AFP PHOTO / DMITRY KOSTYUKOV (Photo credit should read DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s weightlifting team has been barred from competing at the Rio Olympics in August over doping offences, the sport’s governing federation said on Friday.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said some of the Russian competitors had been named in a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency which exposed evidence of state-backed cheating in Russia.

“The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians,” the IWF said in a statement. “Therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport.”