Winter Olympics 2018: CAS upholds Russian ban

11 February, 2018, 04:57 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Winter Olympics 2018: CAS upholds Russian ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has affirmed a decision that 47 Russian athletes and coaches should not be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics, weighing in on the matter with just hours to go before Pyeongchang holds its opening ceremony for almost 3,000 athletes from around the world.

The International Olympic Committee had banned Russian Federation because of a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games, but gave individual athletes the chance to apply for admission to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation".

But some Russian athletes are still being allowed to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", or "OAR" for short.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday dismissed an appeal from the athletes and two coaches requesting to be invited to the Games, fewer than nine hours prior to Friday night's opening ceremony.

The IOC's position: for sure yes, because taking part in the Games is a "privilege", and just because you're not guilty per CAS that does not make you "innocent".

In a telephone interview, Reedie told The Associated Press: "I am delighted at the decision and the way they expressed it".

The Russian tricolor was projected onto the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) headquarters in Montreal, Canada, as part of a light show staged by Russian fans in protest at the body's actions against national athletes.

The CAS panel determined the Russian applicants did not demonstrate that the two IOC special commissions - the invitation review panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia implementation group - carried out their evaluations in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner.

CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said the International Olympic Committee process "could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision".


The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to South Korea.

The Russians haven't medaled at all in the last three Olympics, which is motivation enough.

The ruling followed a CAS announcement on Thursday (February 8) claimed it did not have the jurisdiction to deal with cases filed by six Russian athletes, including speed skaters Denis Yuskov and Pavel Kulizhnikov, and seven coaches.

"Today's decision by the CAS.is a small semblance of justice for clean athletes".

An IOC spokesperson said, "We welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".

A week earlier, the players attended a reception for athletes with President Vladimir Putin, the only OARs there wearing Russian uniforms instead of the IOC-approved neutral tracksuits in red and gray.

"That is great news, " said USA women's skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics - one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban.

The easy way out: when you come up with a plan, and you can articulate reasons for the plan, whether the reasons are or are not slam-dunk great, then you have a reasonably legitimate chance to prevail. I was hoping that CAS would take our side.

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