International Olympic Committee refuses Russian athletes' request to join Olympics

Cesar Mills
February 8, 2018

They include the 28 athletes who had their life bans lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) last week.

They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation. Thirteen of group have either retired or are unavailable for undisclosed reasons.

Russians - a total of 168 athletes - will take part in the Games under the Olympic flag.

The IOC's executive director for the Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi, told reporters they are taking no risks in their bid to contain the outbreak to prevent it from disrupting athletes and spectators.

The IOC has refused to invite the 32 cleared Russian athletes to this month's PyeongChang Winter Games, noting there was evidence about them that had not been available to the IOC commission that had investigated them. The announcement did not go down well outside Russian Federation, even though the International Olympic Committee declared that "more than 80%" of those athletes had not competed in Sochi and had been carefully vetted. The athletes want a "comprehensive review" of how the investigation by lawyer Richard McLaren into Russia's doping conspiracy was handled. Further, Russian athletes could be allowed to march under their own flag at the closing ceremony if they comply with the IOC's conditions during the Games.

How many independent Russian athletes will compete at Pyeongchang is still unclear as the CAS continues to hear and deliberate the appeals of 47 individuals demanding to be reinstated from doping bans stemming from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Just days before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics, it remains unclear who will be competing.

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"I think that the timing of all this is ridiculous", said Lowell Bailey, an American biathlete and a reigning world champion, who added that the I.O.C. should acknowledge that it is partly responsible for this unnecessary chaos. Some others, particularly Russia's top bobsledders from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, have already retired. The panels in the cases of the 39 Russian athletes are working on them, and we look forward to their publication as soon as possible.

As Pound and Werthein clashed, 32 Russian athletes on Tuesday filed yet more appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport seeking spots in the games.

"For years, global sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians".

President Thomas Bach on Tuesday told delegates at the International Olympic Committee session in Pyeongchang that the organization needed to change the legal framework around the fight against doping, an issue that dominated the first of the two days of talks.

"This is an opportunity to recognise the power of sport to bring the world together in peaceful competition and create opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation".

Bach also claimed the decision "shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS".

Other reports by GizPress

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