Whistleblower Stepanova ends legal bid to compete in Rio

The original size of the Russian team was 389.

As Rio geared up for the opening ceremony to the Olympic Games, more Russian athletes have reportedly been allowed to take part, bringing the total number to 279.

On July 21, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected an appeal from 68 Russian athletes and the Olympic Committee of Russia. Under guidelines laid down by the International Olympic Committee, but left ultimately to the discretion of individual sports federations, Russians with past doping convictions were ineligible to compete. The Games officially start later on Friday.

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Efimova won a bronze medal in London four years ago in the 200-metre breaststroke, a race that's set to go on Tuesday. "I couldn't be more proud and relieved".

Efimova had been provisionally suspended by swimming governing body Fina in March after a positive test for meldonium, the endurance-boosting drug banned as of January.

The IOC has also cleared other Russian swimmers - Yuliya Yefimova and Natalya Lovtsova, Darya Ustinova, Mikhail Dovganyuk, and Anastasia Krapivina - for taking part in the Olympics, head of Russia's Olympic delegation Igor Kazikov told TASS.

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The court ruled on Thursday that the International Olympic Committee could not automatically exclude Russian athletes caught doping in the past but who had served their punishments. Subsequently, the Russian national team was removed from participation in the Rio Olympics. In that match, the US fought off four Russian set points in the first game to win 35-33, then won the next two 25-17, 25-21.

A report for WADA by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren said there was a "state-dictated failsafe system" of cheating in Russian Federation. As the ANOC representative on the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission I have tried to ensure that the voice of the NOCs has been heard throughout the preparations for the Games and their interests have always been represented.

The report from WADA's Commission stated in particular that the commission's investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russian Federation between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

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