CAS dismisses 47 appeals from Russian athletes, coaches
Feb 11 2018
Alexander Belov, a son of 1972 Soviet Olympic Champion Sergei Belov, told Sputnik that he hoped that the developments surrounding the Russian athletes banned from Olympics over alleged doping rules' violations, but later acquitted of the charges would normalize and the athletes would be able to compete and win.
Despite the fact that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the IOC bans on 28 eight athletes and dropped all the doping charges against them, the Olympic governing body refused to invite the cleared athletes to PyeongChang.
On Friday, 47 Russians implicated in doping lost a last- minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Olympics, just hours before the opening ceremony. If they win, it would force the International Olympic Committee to accept athletes it considers to be linked to doping offenses.
"I'm having a very unusual feeling..."
Last week, in assessing the landscape of Russian athletes from Sochi 2014, 28 were cleared of misconduct and 11 liberated of life bans the International Olympic Committee had sought to impose.
But Russia - which is supposed to be a country non grata at the Pyeongchang Olympics because of its outrageous, systematic doping program - is still a very big part of these Winter Games.
"The CAS Panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions, the Invitation Review Panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group, independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner".
Whistleblowers in sport have been warned not to go public with their information because they can not be offered protection, the World Anti-Doping Agency warned on Thursday. "It's hard for CAS to make decisions against the backdrop of an earlier pressure", Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told Interfax news agency, referring to objections from the International Olympic Committee. The CAS said the ban on the contingent athletes and coaches, who sought an invitation to the game, will remain in place.
They will wear a uniform with that name on it, and the Olympic anthem will be played at any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes.
Stephen Hess, an worldwide sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC. She hopes it finally marks the end of what she sees as a years-long plot by Russia's foes.
"I am confident that today's decision is mostly a reaction to the outcry from clean athletes against Olympic corruption and complicity".
An IOC spokesperson said, "We welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".
Look for plenty of Russian flags - which the athletes are banned from using - in the stands.
"I am sure that they will perform for themselves and, as we say [in Russia], "for the guys". It's just one step closer to a clean sport, and that is something we can all be proud of no matter what country you come from".
Longtime IOC member and World Anti-Doping Agency founding president Richard Pound - another troublemaking Canuck - was the first to raise the issue this week.