February 25, 2018

Fifteen banned Russian athletes lodge second appeal to top sports court

08 February 2018, 09:32 | Ross Houston

Christinne Muschi Reuters

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The IOC has not stated why any of the Russians weren't invited, but has said it used a newly available database detailing past doping when deciding on who is eligible for the February 9-25 games.

Russian Federation was banned from the Pyeongchang Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on December 5, 2017, due to accusations of mass doping during the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

"They are about getting to know each other, they are about making friends, they are about understanding each other, they are about competing with each other but at the same time sharing your meal and celebrating together".

"Based on the recommendation of the invitation review panel, the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group (OAR IG) has met to discuss the request by the suspended Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to invite 13 more athletes and two more coaches to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018", the statement reads.

"Pyeongchang has all the main keys of being a really outstanding and exciting Olympic Winter Games and there I have not even spoken about the historic moments these Games can offer to the Olympic movement and to the world with the participation of the athletes from the DPRK", Bach stressed.

Bach insisted invitations to the Russians in question were not inevitable despite the "disappointing and surprising" CAS rulings.

"They applied criminal standards where the first doubt you have does not allow you to sanction", he said.

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He said it is normal for athletes to have higher-than-average levels of oxygen in their blood, either naturally or because most do high-altitude training, but athletes' blood-oxygen levels are more closely watched now.

In a statement on Monday, the International Olympic Committee said part of its ruling was because "the full reasoning for these decisions had not been made public" by CAS.

Pound, a former chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, also says the International Olympic Committee "should not be reluctant to proceed" with appeals of a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision that reinstated 28 Russians banned for doping at the 2014 Olympics. He hopes a final decision will be made "in the next couple of days".

The IOC disciplined a separate tranche of 43 Russian athletes. "The Panel's decision will be communicated as soon as possible thereafter", the CAS added.

Bach on Sunday criticised CAS for the delay over the delivery of the reasoned decision. There are questions over whether it that process (and its lawyers), and whether it had a contingency plan to respond to the worst-case scenario of losing at CAS. "They give no explanation, do not share their reasons, that's why the fear of losing seems the only plausible motive behind the decision", she said. "We believe that the CAS ruling should clear our athletes of absolutely all suspicions".

"CAS will continue to evolve to ensure consistency and quality of jurisprudence".

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