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International Olympic Committee declines request to invite 15 Russian athletes, coaches to Olympics

08 February 2018

Another 32 Russian athletes have gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to press their claims to be able to compete at the Winter Olympics.

We are not fearful in any way.

The IOC had earlier banned Russian Federation from Pyeongchang over "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system in Sochi.

The 15 include cross-country gold medallist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medallist Alexander Tretiakov.

Asked then whether the ban should be seen as a success or failure due to the large number of Russian athletes competing, Adams said, "It's hard to judge something before it has happened obviously".

"They've been left out there, hanging alone, with no protection whatsoever from the Olympic movement", said Pound, adding: "I would say more attention has been paid to getting Russian athletes into the Pyeongchang Games than dealing with the Russian conduct". It said those not invited were not necessarily doping offenders.

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.

"We have been told this could be end of February, which is an extremely unsatisfactory situation, given the gravity of the cases".

Russia's Olympic Athletes Commission yesterday expressed 'huge disappointment over the International Olympic Committee decision.

"They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these games as Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation", the CAS said in the statement. It said the panel took into account extra information about the athletes sent to it by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which had "raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes".

The IOC, which has cleared 169 Russians to compete at Pyeongchang, said that "not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation".

'Dreams of athletes willing to participate in Olympics who have fairly won the right for it are being destroyed, and irreparable damage is being caused to basic ideals, values of Olympism, it said.

It is the second successive Olympics where the International Olympic Committee has been embroiled in problems involving Russian doping, after accusations of systemic drug cheating blew up just before Rio 2016.

Oswald said CAS arbitrators had applied criminal standards of proof that made it far more complicated to prove wrongdoing.

International Olympic Committee declines request to invite 15 Russian athletes, coaches to Olympics