Winter Olympics: Russians could make appearance at Pyeongchang

Violet Powell
February 5, 2018

In the latest case, CAS said its arbitrators weren't mandated to decide whether there was an organized doping scheme in Sochi but instead were strictly limited to determining whether evidence used by an International Olympic Committee disciplinary commission to sanction Russian athletes stood up in court.

The IOC has been told it may be the end of February before a reasoned decision is available, something Bach described as "extremely unsatisfactory".

The IOC sanctions were triggered by investigations that found widespread cheating among Russian athletes, coaches and officials.

In its surprise ruling, the world's top sports tribunal cleared 28 Russian athletes of doping allegations and reinstated their status to compete.

The IOC is "extremely" disappointed with a decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an organization it founded and funds.

The IOC issued the ban in December a year ago stating that the systematic doping by the nation was unbelievable and was the worst case since the notorious East German doping scandals from the 1960's to the 1980's.

"Unfortunately we only know about the reasons from a few lines from a press release".

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The statement was issued soon after the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the disqualifications and Olympic life bans of 28 Russians from the 2014 Sochi Games.

The speaker has welcomed CAS' decision.

In a further 11 cases anti-doping violations were confirmed, but their lifetime bans have been reduced just to cover the 2018 Winter Games, which open in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.

The confirmation of eleven cases "clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014", it added.

Bach, a former Olympic fencing gold medalist for Germany, also gave his thumbs up to the two Olympic Villages in PyeongChang and Gangneung, calling them "among the best we've ever had at the Winter Games", if not the best. The AP reported Putin told the country's athletes during a gathering at his residence to "forget about doping scandals when they compete" at the PyeongChang Games.

At the time, he said: "Our message to the International Olympic Committee and to the world of boxing is that AIBA is turning over a new leaf and we intend to demonstrate our responsibility to all national federations and our commitment to the sport we all love".

Bach called for internal reform at CAS, which is presided by IOC Vice President John Coates, who also chairs the coordination committee of the Tokyo Olympics.

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