The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that 45 Russian athletes and two coaches cannot take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after rejecting their appeals to overturn a ban from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Matthieu Reeb, the CAS general secretary said: “The CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ could not be described as a sanction, but rather as an eligibility decision.”
“The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which two specialise commissions established by the IOC was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary and unfair manner. The panel also concluded that there was no evidence that these two commissions improperly exercised their discretion.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Sir Craig Reedie said: “These decisions come as welcome news for WADA; as they will, for athletes and all others worldwide that care for clean sport and the integrity of the Games.”
“The timing of these decisions just before the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang is good as it will reassure athletes and others that only Russian athletes, which have met strict anti-doping criteria will be participating in the Games.”
Sir Hugh Robertson, British Olympic Association chairman also welcomed the decision saying: “Elements of the Russian sports hierarchy tried to manipulate results at an Olympic Games and against any backdrop under any circumstances, that is unforgivable.”
“It is very disappointing that we’re in the situation we’re in today. It would help enormously if the Russians admitted guilt for those parts of the system that they’ve tried to manipulate. Then we could correct the situation and move on.”
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