International Olympic Committee could appeal against lifting of Russian lifetime bans

by Olga Hunt February 2, 2018, 0:16
International Olympic Committee could appeal against lifting of Russian lifetime bans

However, it is not clear yet whether any of the 28 will be able to compete in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which start on February 9.

However, some evidence of organized Russian doping at the 2014 Sochi Games was accepted by the CAS judges, who maintained the disqualifications of a further 11 Russian athletes.

"We are very glad for our athletes", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia remains banned from entering a team in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee, but the IOC has cleared almost 170 Russian nationals to compete as neutrals.

A total of 43 Russians were originally banned over doping offences at the Sochi Olympics.

In total 43 Russians were banned for life from the Olympics following the conclusion of an International Olympic Committee investigation into evidence of state-sponsored Russian doping at Sochi 2014.

Those whose results have been reinstated at the Sochi 2014 Olympics include skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov and cross-country ski gold medalist Alexander Legkov.

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled there was "insufficient" evidence that the 28 - including several medallists - had broken anti-doping rules.

"The CAS decision", according to the statement, "only emboldens cheaters, makes it harder for clean athletes to win, and provides yet another ill-gotten gain for the corrupt Russian doping system generally, and Putin specifically".

"It is a hard question", the Kremlin spokesman added, noting Russian officials would continue talking to the IOC. Three more appeals submitted by the biathlon competitors are due to be heard by the court later.

The agency will continue to work with Berlinger, the Swiss manufacturer of the bottles, to gather information and explore solutions. The ruling came in the wake of two independently-commissioned WADA reports which detailed state-sponsored doping schemes, including manipulation and swapping of urine samples, at the Sochi Games.

Interestingly, Putin's statement has come just a day after International Olympic Committee confirmed that 169 Russian athletes - who have a doping-free background - will compete at the Winter Olympics.

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