Russian athletes lose last ditch appeal to join the Winter Olympics

Dozens of Russian athletes have lost an eleventh-hour bid to join the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the Court ...

Posted: Feb. 9, 2018 11:06 AM
Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 11:06 AM

Dozens of Russian athletes have lost an eleventh-hour bid to join the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their appeal.

The appellants had asked CAS to overturn a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to invite them over doping concerns, meaning they won't be joining the 150 competitors cleared to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR).

South Korean-born Russian skater Viktor Ahn is among those banned

Athletes had hoped the court would force the IOC to invite them

It will be a crushing disappointment to the Russian appellants, some of whom traveled to South Korea in the hope they would be granted the right to compete.

One of the athletes' whose Olympic dream was ended Friday was Viktor Ahn, a highly decorated speed skater who was born in South Korea and competed for the country before becoming a naturalized Russian citizen.

The head of Russia's bobsleigh federation, Sergey Parkhomenko, said the decision had a "political context" and the group would be taking legal action.

"We're disappointed with the CAS decision... we believed in better but received this instead. We will file lawsuits in other courts demanding compensation for material costs. We'll go to the federal Supreme Court of Switzerland," Parkhomenko said, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Of the athletes and coaches whose appeals were thrown out Friday, 15 had previously had their lifetime bans for doping lifted by the Switzerland-based court.

The IOC refused to invite them to Pyeongchang however, saying it had lingering suspicions, so they went back to CAS to try and overrule the Olympic body.

In its decision Friday, the court upheld the IOC's right to exclude them, saying there was no evidence the IOC had "improperly exercised their discretion."

The IOC welcome the decision in a statement, saying it "supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes."

Widespread ban

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 could prove they were clean were "invited" to compete as OARs.

They will wear a uniform with that name on it, and the Olympic anthem will be played at any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes.

But dozens of Russian athletes who had hoped to compete under the neutral flag were deemed ineligible by the world Olympic body.

"The list on which the Invitation Review Panel (IRP) based its considerations (on) covers a wide range of information," said Val-rie Fourneyron, the Chair of the International Testing Agency (ITA).

"It includes, for example, evidence of suspicious Steroid Profile values, DNA inconsistencies and irregularities of the Athlete Biological Passport, as well as evidence provided necessarily need to be transmitted to the athletes."

The IOC confirmed that only athletes who have "fulfilled the pre-games testing requirements," including the IRP's criteria, "as well as the required reanalysis from stored samples," would be allowed to compete at the Games.

More than 150 Olympic Athletes from Russia are currently listed on the official Pyeongchang Games website.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted there had been "instances of doping use in Russia," but said the issue was a global problem.

Addressing supporters in Moscow, Putin said "there were instances of doping use, true -- I want the audience to know this and the whole country to know this."

But he added "there are many such examples around the world, but no one is making a big show of it."

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Albert Lea
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Austin
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Rochester
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Clouds will clear overnight as we remain cooler across the area.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Possible ordinance on short-term rentals

Image

Remembering the 1883 tornado

Image

Police warn of people going door to door

Image

Pine Island ICE facility decision

Image

Fill the Boot Campaign

Image

New Task Force to Tackle Housing

Image

Legacy Run for Children of Veterans

Image

Jeremiah Wilcox

Image

Body Recovered Might be Mollie Tibbetts

Image

Olive Garden gives back in Rochester

Community Events