The International Olympic Committee held showdown talks Sunday on whether to ban Russia from the Rio Games over state-run doping, an unprecedented decision that could spark the Olympic movement's worst crisis in decades. An independent report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Russia's sports ministry directed a vast doping programme with support from the state intelligence agency that saw thousands of tainted urine samples destroyed or swapped for clean ones. The cheating affected 30 sports and went on during the 2014 Sochi Games and other major Olympic and international events, according to the WADA report released last week by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.
Turkey readied Sunday for its first cross-party rally against the bloody putsch attempt, following the break up of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's presidential guard as sweeping purges of suspected state enemies continue. The mass rally, to be held under tight security on Istanbul's iconic Taksim square, was called by the biggest opposition group, the secular and centre-left Republican People's Party. "The Turkish republic is stronger than it was in the past," wrote Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in an editorial in the HaberTurk daily.