Russian Federation wants cleared athletes at Winter Games

02 February, 2018, 00:25 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • President Vladimir Putin meets with Russian athletes competing in 23rd Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang

According to a decision released today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld 28 of 42 appeals from Russian athletes against International Olympic Committee lifetime suspensions based on the report from the Oswald Commission as well as the McLaren reports into systematic Russian doping violations during the Sochi Games 2014.

Olympic men's gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov and women's bronze medalist Elena Nikitina were among the 28 Russians whose results from the Sochi Games were reinstated by the CAS decision.

Cas said evidence was "insufficient" to prove doping in 28 cases, though the International Olympic Committee insisted the ruling did not mean the athletes would be invited to this month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where 169 of their compatriots are being allowed to compete as neutrals after the country was officially banned.

Besides criticizing "Russia's unprecedented attack on fair play", USADA chief executive Travis Tygart says in a statement the IOC waited too long before issuing bans late a year ago and that "slamming dozens of cases through the process on the eve of the Olympic Games has not served justice and as such the integrity of the games has been sabotaged".

The IOC said it had taken note of the CAS decision "with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other", adding the decision "may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping."

"Any athlete, including Russians, has the right after a positive test to appeal to the CAS", she said.

"I'm partly satisfied with the CAS decision because we had a large number of athletes who were exonerated - all the skeleton athletes and some of the bobsledders.We would like to see what is said about the athletes who were not fully exonerated".

Otherwise Russian athletes will march into the Olympic stadium in eight days under a neutral flag, namely the iconic white flag emblazoned with five rings of the Olympics.

The CAS also partially upheld the appeals of another 11 Russian athletes, whose lifetime Olympic bans were replaced with "ineligibility" only from the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.




The IOC also banned Russian Federation from the Pyeongchang Winter Games next month as a result of its "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.

The cover-up dated back to at least 2011, WADA said, and athletes competing at the 2012 Olympics, 2013 world athletics championships and 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi were involved.

The entire Russian Paralympic team was also banned from the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko says the country plans to file more legal action to ensure athletes who won their doping appeals can compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics. However, CAS reduced their lifetime Olympic bans. "I feel for all clean athletes of the world right now".

Pengilly added: "When McLaren and the Oswald Commission regard Rodchenkov's evidence as credible and truthful, and it is backed up by forensic evidence, yet Cas obviously don't accept it, what more do you have to do?"

"Slamming dozens of cases through the process on the eve of the Olympic Games has not served justice and as such the integrity of the Games has been sabotaged".

"I think the Olympics Games is like a birthday party for the International Olympic Committee", hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk said.

"This does not mean that the 28 athletes are declared innocent, but due to insufficient evidence the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their results in Sochi are reinstated".

Among the reinstated athletes were two skiers who won gold in Sochi.

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