IOC: Evidence against Russians strong despite CAS blow

Feb 08, 2018, 09:29
IOC: Evidence against Russians strong despite CAS blow

"I will tell them to do their best", Chang said at the cafeteria of the PyeongChang Olympic Village, the main athletes' village of the first Winter Games in South Korea.

On Wednesday afternoon, the CAS will also be hearing the appeal of 32 other Russian athletes who were not invited by the IOC. Dozens of Russians weren't invited by the, including some top bobsledders, but said athletes from the United States and Canada have warmed to her because she was approved.

With the Russian team formally banned, the IOC has allowed 169 Russian athletes - one of the largest groups in Pyeongchang - to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", rather than neutrals.

They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation.

Former world anti-doping chief Dick Pound slammed the Olympic response to the Russian doping scandal on Tuesday, warning "we talk more than we walk" and saying that the Games' credibility had taken a serious hit.

The IOC was keen to emphasize that the CAS ruling did not mean it had found the 28 athletes innocent, and refused to invite those cleared to PyeongChang. As a result of that decision, the IOC stripped Fatkulina of her Olympic silver medal, and prohibited her from competing at any future Games.

The WADA Athlete Committee, chaired by Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott, condemned the CAS ruling, which said there was insufficient evidence of anti-doping violations against the Russian athletes. Bach said the reforms would lead to a "new norm" in Olympics from the candidature, the delivery and the legacy, and lead to "the biggest savings in the history of the Olympic Games".

"There are no guarantees, but I don't think the athletes who are doping will be here, " he said.

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. In addition, their medals won at the 2014 Sochi games were reinstated, propelling Russian Federation back to the top of the overall medal count. Forty-three individual Russian athletes were banned by a disciplinary commission in December 2017. Russia's return to the Olympic community should be conditioned on the Kremlin's outright admission that its government cheated in sport, and did so for years. McLaren said at the time.

However, Pound's view was not shared by the other International Olympic Committee delegates at the meeting.

"We're not talking about politics... we're talking about how we respond to attacks on those fundamental values by a country which voluntarily agreed to respect those values - and which then attempted to destroy them", he added.

Denis Oswald, who led the International Olympic Committee investigation into Russian doping, accused CAS breaking with longstanding protocols in lifting the bans.