Saturday, 22 September, 2018

International Olympic Committee reduces pool of Russian athletes eligible to compete at Olympics

International Olympic Committee reduces pool of Russian athletes eligible to compete at Olympics International Olympic Committee reduces pool of Russian athletes eligible to compete at Olympics
Kristopher Love | 20 January, 2018, 03:45

As many as 400 athletes from Russian Federation could still be going to next month's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, despite an International Olympic Committee ban.

An IOC panel whittled down an initial list of 500 to create what the IOC calls "a pool of clean athletes". "Therefore, only a limited number of athletes can be chosen from the current pool".

The IOC banned Russian Federation last month from the Pyeongchang games, citing its "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system. The 389 remaining hopefuls are going through further pre-Games tests and analysis.

Russian sportswear company Zasport published on Thursday sketches of what it says are IOC-approved designs for the competitors, who will be officially known as Olympic Athletes from Russia.

Close to 400 athletes from Russian Federation remain under consideration for next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang. The IOC has an invitation-only process for Russian athletes with the aim of cutting out those who it believes were part of organized doping programs or cover-ups at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russian Federation might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes. If they win gold medals, the Olympic flag will be flown and the Olympic anthem played.

The tests were conducted between April and December on around 6,000 athletes from 61 countries taking part in the 2018 Winter Games, which are scheduled to run from February 9 to 25 in the alpine town of PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.