IOC calm over Pyeongchang Winter Games doping appeal by Russian athletes

Author: ARAB NEWSWed, 2018-02-07 02:12ID: 1517947659994560500LONDON: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was not worried about an expected ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) expected today on whether 32 Russian athletes should be allowed to compete at the Winter Games starting this week.
As many as 32 Russian athletes filed yet more appeals with CAS seeking spots in the games. The 32 failed to pass IOC vetting and were not invited.
“We’re not fearful in any way,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.
“We wait for the decision (today). We’re very confident with the stance we’ve taken.”
The IOC expects 168 Russian athletes who have been deemed “clean” to participate in the games under the banner of “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” absent of any national flags, uniforms or national logos.
The contentious issue of the Russian ban, and the way it was handled by the IOC, threatens to overshadow the games themselves with 3,000 athletes expected to compete.
The sense that the story refuses to go away was only added to as Russia’s Olympic Athletes Commission expressed “huge disappointment” over the IOC’s decision not to invite to Pyeongchang 15 Russian athletes and staff whose life bans for doping were lifted.
The IOC ruled on Monday that 13 Russian athletes and two ex-athletes now working as support staff will not be invited to the Pyeongchang Winter Games despite having their life bans for doping removed last week by CAS.
The IOC has barred Russia from the Pyeongchang Olympics, which open on Friday, over a widespread doping conspiracy. But 169 Russians who have passed strict anti-doping protocols will compete under a neutral flag as Olympic Athletes from Russia.
“With a huge disappointment, the members of ROC’s Athletes’ Commission have found out about decision of IOC’s Invitation Review Panel not to invite 13 Russian athletes and 2 coaches fully acquitted by (the CAS) to 2018 Winter Olympics,” the commission statement said.
“It’s surprising that IOC Commission makes its decisions on the basis of some additional, suspicious, and anonymous information and accounts of one single fraudster,” the commission said, referring to whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who is the source of revelations on Moscow’s state-sponsored doping.
The Russian athletes’ statement said that they have supported the IOC statement “that it’s necessary to respect rights of clean athletes.”
However, the commission said that the “massive denial for clean Russian athletes violates the principle of equality and contests efficiency of justice.”
“Dreams of athletes willing to participate in Olympics who have fairly won the right for it are being destroyed, and irreparable damage is being caused to basic ideals, values of Olympism,” it said.
Main category: SportsTags: IOCWinter OlympicsPyeongchang Winter Olympics2018 Winter OlympicsRussiaRussian dopingrelated_nodes: Olympics: 13 Russians cleared of doping eligibe for GamesSports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians accused of doping in 2014 Sochi Winter OlympicsVladimir Putin tells Russian athletes to ‘forget about’ doping scandal at Winter Games

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