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Winter Olympics 2018: CAS upholds Russian ban

11 February, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Winter Olympics 2018: Russians appeal against Pyeongchang exclusion adjourned

Individual athletes were given permission to take part in the games, provided they take a test to determine they haven't violated the doping rules.

The IOC refused to invite them to Pyeongchang however, saying it had lingering suspicions, so they went back to CAS to try and overrule the Olympic body.

But a certain number of "clean" Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.

A spokesman for the 168-strong, neutral Russian team, the "Olympic Athletes from Russia", declined to comment when approached by AFP.

Sport's highest court has rejected appeals by 45 Russian athletes and two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics - less than nine hours before the opening ceremony.

The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency welcomed the ruling. There is a traditional samovar of tea, a folk choir, even the dress in which figure skater Adelina Sotnikova won the gold medal in Sochi in 2014.

That's why the CAS decision, which upheld the IOC's right to decide who could compete at its biannual party, was merely a brief respite in the never-ending war on doping.

That means no Russian flags or colours and they will also need to be careful about their use of social media, among a raft of restrictions. He became a Russian citizen to represent the hosts at the Sochi Games.

The CAS statement added: "The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions (the invitation review panel (IRP) and the Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation implementation group (OAR IG)) independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner".

"I'm having a very odd feeling..."

However, Jim Walden claimed the International Olympic Committee and CAS were "complicit in enabling Russian doping" and called for the resignation of International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who has presided over a chaotic build-up to a second successive Games, after Rio 2016.

"Within this process, we naturally ask all our broadcast partners to provide input, as they play a key role in allowing millions of fans around the world to witness and celebrate the athletes' achievements", the statement said.

"We share the distress, uncertainty and frustration expressed by many athletes on the news of this ruling and believe this decision to be a massive setback for clean sport", the WADA athlete committee said.

Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko was scathing in his assessment telling TASS the CAS decision would "diminish competition and attention to the Games".

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is also dealing with 47 other Russian appeals, said it "lacked jurisdiction" to deal with the six athletes and seven doctors, coaches and support staff.

Successful appeals would be a blow to the International Olympic Committee, which would have to accept athletes it deems suspicious.

"That is great news, " said USA women's skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics - one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban. "But our athletes are here to compete and they have to win".

"I would like to hope that this situation will change and normalize".



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