Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Russian Federation wants cleared athletes at Winter Games

Russian Federation wants cleared athletes at Winter Games

In a decision issued on Thursday, the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said it "unanimously found" that the evidence presented against 28 athletes were "found to be insufficient to establish" that doping rules were violated. And in a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he was "very happy" with the decision, writes the CNN.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Russian deputy prime minister in charge of sport said the Lausanne-based court finding proved Moscow did not have a vast state-sponsored system of doping in place, contrary to the McLaren report.

The Russian Olympic Committee says it wants to send 15 of the 28 athletes who won their appeals against doping bans to the Pyeongchang Games. With regard to the participation of athletes from Russian Federation at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place.

With just a week to go before the Pyeongchang Olympics, the 33-year-old Edney and teammates Alex Gough, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith are poised to lose what would have been Canada's first Winter Games medal in luge.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland announced that 28 Russian athletes that were banned for life by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) late previous year, following an investigation into allegations of doping violations that emerged after the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, would be lifted.

"Any athlete, including Russians, has the right after a positive test to appeal to the CAS", she said.

The IOC has pointed to a CAS statement that it did not rule the 28 reinstated Russians to be innocent, only that the evidence was insufficient for a disqualification from the Sochi Games and future Olympics. "But now I read that the International Olympic Committee regrets the decision taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport".

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Russia was also banned from the Paralympics, but will have 30 to 35 Russians athletes compete in five sporting events.

The athletes were also declared ineligible to participate in any capacity in all subsequent editions of the Olympic Games.

For these athletes, the appeals were upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results from Sochi 2014 were reinstated. It expressed its "satisfaction on one hand and disappointment on the other" at Thursday's decision, made eight days before the 2018 Winter Olympics begin in South Korea.

"I'm partly satisfied with the CAS decision because we had a large number of athletes who were exonerated - all the skeleton athletes and some of the bobsledders.We would like to see what is said about the athletes who were not fully exonerated".

However, the International Olympic Committee said "not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation".

So far, only the decision to uphold the appeals has been released and not the grounds that lie behind the decision.

"This panel's unfortunate decision provides a very small measure of punishment for some athletes but a complete "get out of jail free card" for most". They included two-time bobsled gold medalist Alexander Zubkov, and involved cases where athlete urine samples from Sochi revealed abnormal levels of salt or mixed gender DNA in recent reanalysis.

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