By Denis Dyomkin MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday blamed a shadowy campaign for unfairly stripping some Russian sports people of the right to compete at the Rio Olympics over doping allegations, hitting out at what he called short-sighted political schemers. Putin, addressing members of Russia's Olympic team in the Kremlin, said that the decision by international sporting organizations to ban some Russian athletes from the games, flew in the face of common sense and legality. “The deliberate campaign targeting our athletes was characterized by so-called double standards and opted for the idea of collective responsibility, which is not compatible with sport, justice in general, or the basic norms of law," said Putin.
Australia took command Wednesday of a low-scoring Test against Sri Lanka, building up an 86-run first innings lead before dismissing opener Kulsan Perera with the last ball of a rain-affected day in Pallekele. Despite the heroics of Lakshan Sandakan, who took four wickets on debut, the hosts were staring down the barrel at stumps on the second day of the opening Test after rain again forced an early end to proceedings. Perera fell for just four when he was lbw to paceman Mitchell Starc, leaving Sri Lanka wobbling on six for one -- still 80 runs short of having to make the visitors bat again.