Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

International Olympic Committee review panel to look again at 15 Russian athletes

International Olympic Committee review panel to look again at 15 Russian athletes International Olympic Committee review panel to look again at 15 Russian athletes
Theresa Hayes | 06 February, 2018, 19:29

A decision by sport's top court to lift life bans for doping of 28 Russian athletes was "extremely disappointing and surprising", International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said Sunday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) restricted Russian Federation from Pyeongchang over "precise control" of the counter doping framework in Sochi four years back however left the entryway open for competitors with no history of doping to contend as neutrals.

"The IOC executive board is not satisfied with the report prepared by AIBA on its governance, finance, refereeing and anti-doping issues", Bach said in his first press conference ahead of the Pyeongchang Olympics, which open on Friday.

The IOC has barred Russian Federation from the Pyeongchang Olympics, which open on Friday, over a widespread doping conspiracy.

A hearing is likely on Wednesday, CAS said.

Last week, the independent sports tribunal cited insufficient evidence as it lifted the bans, adding to the sense of confusion surrounding Russian Federation at the Games.

They all failed to pass the scrutiny of an IOC panel chaired by Valérie Fourneyron, France's former Sports Minister, which had been vetting each individual application to compete as part of the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" team at Pyeongchang 2018.

The committee still allowed "clean" Russian athletes to compete in the 2018 games, but under condition that they do so under a neutral flag and do not publicly display any signs or symbols associated with Russia.

They say they received a database of around 10,000 blood tests from 2,000 cross-country skiers taken between 2001 and 2010, before the introduction of biological passports. "So far the panel was not able to produce a reasoned decision which we are eagerly waiting for".

In its February 1 decision, CAS unanimously ruled there was not enough evidence against the 28 Russian athletes to conclude they had committed any anti-doping rule violations. Neither athlete has previously served a doping ban.

Meanwhile, regarding the CAS decision on Russian athletes, Bach said it is "extremely disappointing" and "surprising".

"The absence of sanctions by CAS does not mean that you are entitled to receive an invitation from the IOC, because receiving this invitation is a privilege of "clean" Russian athletes, and therefore we are following and we will be following the IOC EB decision of December 5", Bach explained.