No Winter Games for cleared Russians

Ice Arena is illuminated at night prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung South Korea Tuesday Feb. 6 2018

PyeongChang athletes' village holds first welcoming ceremony

They were among 43 Russians who had appealed against life bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee after they were disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Olympics for benefitting from a system of state-backed doping put in place for the Games.

Russia was banned from taking part in the Games In December after the IOC found the country had engaged in "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules, though Russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be "invited" to compete under the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR).

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee declared refusal to grant invitations to the Games to 13 Russian athletes and two coaches who had been acquitted by CAS earlier.

Those applicants include cross-country gold-medalist Aleksandr Legkov and skeleton gold-medalist Aleksandr Tretyakov.

But on Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced it was clearing 28 other Russian athletes who competed in Sochi, including 13 athletes who would conceivably be eligible for these Games.

At the opening ceremony of the Winter Games on February 9, they will march under the Olympic flag and wear red and grey tracksuits with an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" emblem.

"It's surprising that IOC Commission makes its decisions on the basis of some additional, suspicious, and anonymous information and accounts of one single fraudster", the commission said, referring to whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, who is the source of revelations on Moscow's state-sponsored doping.

The IOC said "the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping, or given the panel sufficient confidence to recommend. those 13 athletes could be considered as clean".

"We are in trouble now", said Pound, referring to the IOC.

Coates didn't say whether those appeals included any of the 28 who had been banned from the Olympics for life over doping at the 2014 Sochi Games but had those sanctions overturned at CAS last week. CAS has said those might not be ready until the end of the month. "We feel that this decision shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS".

Boxing could be knocked out of the 2020 Olympics if the International Olympic Committee is not satisfied that the sport's finances and governance are sorted out, IOC chief Thomas Bach warned yesterday.

"The reasoned decisions in high profile cases are critically important".

RUSSIA RESPONDS: In London, Marc Bennetts reported Russian officials and athletes "hailed" the CAS decision, with the Russian sports ministry saying that "justice has finally triumphed".

Latest News