Monday, 25 June, 2018

Russians appeal to CAS seeking Olympic spots

Associated Press on Dec. 5 2017 International Olympic Committee Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett speaks during a press conference in Lausanne Switzerland 28 Russian Olympians have lifetime ban overturned
Ellis Copeland | 11 February, 2018, 07:28

A group of 32 Russians who were denied invitations to the Olympics because of evidence linking them to past doping had their case heard Wednesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but no decision was made.

The 32 who appealed on Tuesday failed to pass mandatory International Olympic Committee vetting, which was imposed as a result of Russian doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Also among them is speed skater Denis Yuskov, who served a ban for marijuana, and the biathletes Irina Starykh and Aleksandr Loginov, who previously had been banned for use of the blood-booster EPO.

If the Russian athletes appealing their exclusion this week are successful, though, it would mean the medal contenders in some sports change dramatically.

These athletes' lifetime bans from the Olympics for alleged anti-doping rule violations in Sochi were lifted in a CAS ruling last week.

Six other Russian athletes' appeals were thrown out.

A total of 168 Russian athletes were invited to take part in the Olympics, although the Russian Olympic Committee initially applied for 500.

So far 168 athletes from Russian Federation are expected to compete in South Korea as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".

"We are aware that Western media are planning to throw in pseudo-investigations on the issue of the Russian trace in hacker attacks on information resources related to holding the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea", the ministry said in a statement late Wednesday.

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport says the 13 athletes and two coaches include cross-country ski gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as speedskating silver medalist Olga Fatkulina.

Monday's IOC decision was taken after a special panel "unanimously recommended that the IOC not extend an invitation" to the 15 individuals, and IOC president Thomas Bach voiced concerns about the CAS decision.

It noted that CAS had yet to provide a "full reasoning" for overturning the bans.

Two urgent applications filed by 47 Russian athletes are set to be reviewed on Thursday.

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

"For years, worldwide sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians". Many more have been barred.

A court hearing over their appeal was adjourned on Wednesday as the row over athlete participation continues to surround the build-up before the Games begin on Friday.

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach described the decision as "extremely disappointing and surprising".

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