Reaction to CAS ruling on Russian athletes banned for doping

by Antonio Miles February 2, 2018, 0:20
Reaction to CAS ruling on Russian athletes banned for doping

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland announced that 28 Russian athletes that were banned for life by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) late past year, following an investigation into allegations of doping violations that emerged after the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, would be lifted.

The Kremlin calls to continue standing up for the rights of Russian athletes in courts, the Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the Russian athletes.

CAS stated that there was sufficient evidence to establish that 11 athletes were guilty of anti-doping rule violations and declared them ineligible to compete in the Games in South Korea, but lifted their lifetime bans.

However, the ruling may not mean the athletes will be allowed to participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Games.

"The Russian Olympic Committee will send the IOC a letter requesting that our athletes take part in the Olympic Games.We really hope that the IOC makes a decision in favour of all clean athletes who earned the right to compete at the Olympics".

"Both CAS panels unanimously found that the evidence put forward by the International Olympic Committee in relation to this matter did not have the same weight in each individual case", the CAS statement said.

"Please forgive us for failing to protect you from that [such attacks]", Putin said at a meeting with athletes on Wednesday. "The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games".

Otherwise Russian athletes will march into the Olympic stadium in eight days under a neutral flag, namely the iconic white flag emblazoned with five rings of the Olympics.

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A statement by CAS on Thursday said the bans were overturned and the results reinstated after appeals by the athletes were upheld by the tribunal on Thursday.

According to Reuters, Russia will now ask the International Olympic Committee to grant permission to participate in Pyeongchang to the athletes who had their bans overturned.

The entire Russian Paralympic team was also banned from the 2016 Paralympic Games. With regard to the participation of athletes from Russian Federation at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place.

The former Olympic silver medallist, who was announcing maintained levels of funding for sporting national governing bodies and high performance, said that the IOC should not be involved in deciding who was eligible to compete from sanctioned countries and who wasn't.

The Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee said it would consider challenging the CAS rulings at Switzerland's supreme court. That won't happen until CAS releases more details on why it ruled the way it did Thursday, and it's unknown how long that process will take.

Among the reinstated athletes were two skiers who won gold in Sochi.

"The confirmation of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014".

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