March 25, 2018

Olympic Ban Of Cleared Russian Athletes Is Lawless

11 February 2018, 05:02 | Joan Schultz

28 Russian Olympians have lifetime ban overturned

False Start

The Kremlin is looking forward to a decision the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is about to make on the appeals filed by Russian athletes, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has defended the organization's handling of the Russian Federation doping scandal ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

The Russian team is formally banned, so they would have to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.

Bach says the International Olympic Committee has dealt with the issues as best they can and insists that they, CAS and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will convene to ensure there is not a repeat of the chaotic build-up to the Rio 2016 Games.

South Korea says the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be part of the high-level delegation coming to the South for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Instead, 48 hours before the Olympic cauldron is lit amid frigid temperatures in the Taebaek Mountains the IOC finds itself on the defensive in the face of continued criticism of its handling the Russian doping controversy while also reeling from last week's CAS decision.

Another WADA commissioned report released in 2017 found that Russia's elaborate state-sponsored doping program involving 1,000 athletes in 30 sports produced at least 27 ill-gotten Olympic medals and undermined the integrity of two Olympic Games and several other major worldwide sports competitions over a four-year period.

They were all banned previous year over doping at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but those verdicts were overturned at the CAS last week.

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"As of now, the hearing has concluded and CAS has taken a break before announcing its ruling concerning our athletes' appeals".

The IOC ruled in December that Russians who served doping bans in the past weren't eligible for Pyeongchang under its vetting procedure. The 13 athletes and two coaches in that group included cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov.

"We're hoping for a fair and logical decision from the court, " he said.

Coates gave few details and did not give names of the Russians who appealed Wednesday.

In a statement released Monday, the IOC says its Invitation Review Panel ruled unanimously to decline requests for Olympic invitations for a list of 15 athletes and coaches submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee. Many more have been barred.

The total cost of preparing the games is about $20 billion, with the rest of the money coming for the city of Tokyo and the national government.

In a separate statement about Africa for the YOG, Bach said that the International Olympic Committee "will proactively approach a number of African (countries) to evaluate the feasibility of such a project".

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