The Russian president said Russian track and field athletes are victims of discrimination

In a final gesture of defiance before the Rio Game, Vladimir Putin has accused the IAAF of blatant discrimination for banning Russias Olympic track and field team.

Speaking to more than 150 athletes in the Alexander Hall in the Kremlin, the Russian president also called the decision an attempt to bring the rules of world politics into the world of sport.

Banned Russian athletes
* World Sailing banned one athlete but allowed Russia to replace with a reserve, hence seven sailors have been cleared Source: AP

Putin said the absence of athletes from the worlds largest country would also decrease the competitor. Of the International Association of Athletics Federations decision to reject the eligibility applications of 67 of Russias 68 -strong athletics team, Putin said in a speech broadcast on state television that it used to go beyond legal bounds as well as beyond the phase of common sense.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee decided against a blanket banning but said Russian athletes with previous doping violations or who were mentioned in the McLaren report on state-sponsored doping should not be allowed to compete.

Putin said: The targeted campaign our athletes became the victim of included notorious double standards, a principle of collective responsibility and a cancellation of the presumption of innocence, which are inconsistent with sport, or with justice, elementary legal norms.

He was contended that no concrete, evidence-based accusations had been brought against Russian athletes and said the absence of top challengers would reduce the intensity of the struggle and leave medal winners victories tasteless.

Were talking about a threat and discrediting of the principles of equality, justice, reciprocal respect and the rights of so-called clean athletes, Putin said. In essence, this is a revision or at least an attempt to revise the ideas of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games.

At the same time, Putin promised to work with the international community to fight doping , noting the anti-doping committee he announced last week.

Among the athletes in attendance were parties to the track and field team, all but one of whom have been banned from Rio. The pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva gave a tearful speech after Putin.

Last week, the IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, turned away the Russian athletics minister Vitaly Mutkos request that clean athletes be allowed to compete. Russian Athletics announced a Stars 2016 tournament in Moscow that will feature the athletes banned from vying in Rio, including the hurdler Sergey Shubenkov and the high jumper Mariya Kuchina, both of whom were world champions in Beijing last year. Disqualified athletes will also be entitled to the same prize money and benefits as Olympic challengers, Putin said in his speech.

Mutko, who was named in the McLaren report for being involved in the cover-up of a footballers positive exam, has been told to stay away from the Olympics by the IOC but posed for selfies with members of the Russian team at the parting event in Moscow.

So far 105 of the 387 athletes Russia named in their Olympic team have been barred from the Games. However, some 200 are set to go after the ruling the organizations of fencing, triathlon and volleyball approved all of Russias proposed athletes for Rio on Wednesday.

All archery, badminton, equestrian, judo, shooting and tennis sportsmen and women have already been approved, although the decisions are subject to final review by the court of arbitration for sport. Russian media reported the taekwondo, trampoline, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and boxing squads were also expected to be cleared for competition.

During their visit to the Kremlin, the Russian Olympic team members laid flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier and attended a prayer session at the Assumption Cathedral. On Thursday fans will have a chance to see off challengers during a ceremony at Moscows Sheremetyevo airport.

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