Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Olympics-'Extraordinary' Tokyo sponsorship deals near $3bn - IOC

The Latest: Local Tokyo 2020 organizers raise $2.9 billion Olympics-'Extraordinary' Tokyo sponsorship deals near $3bn - IOC
Sherri Watson | 07 February, 2018, 15:37

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) - International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is sure to face questioning with roughly 100 IOC members gathered in frigid South Korea for the start of two days of meetings that will lead up to the opening Friday of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

A special International Olympic Committee panel "agreed the decision of the Cas had not lifted the suspicion of doping".

But on Tuesday, CAS told AFP that 32 Russians would launch a fresh appeal to compete, including the highly decorated Korean-Russian speed skater Victor An.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday declined a request to admit 13 more athletes and two coaches from Russian Federation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Swiss law company Schellenberg Wittmer, which acts in the interests of the Russian team, stated that the invitation criteria applied to the Russian athletes was non-transparent and illegitimate.

"In addition, the Panel agreed that the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping or given the Panel sufficient confidence to recommend to the OAR IG that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean", the statement continued.

The IOC also banned 43 Russians for life from the Olympics following a further inquiry.

They are requesting that the CAS overturn the IOC's decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic athletes from Russian Federation.

"We share the distress, uncertainty and frustration expressed by many athletes on the news of this ruling and believe this decision to be a massive setback for clean sport", the committee said in a statement on Tuesday. "We can not lose sight of the extent nor the scale of the efforts that Russian authorities and athletes engaged in to cheat the anti-doping system".

But last week, Cas overturned 28 athletes' suspensions and partially upheld 11 other appeals.

The IOC hasn't said why any of the individual Russians weren't invited, but did say it used a newly available database detailing past doping when it decided who should be eligible. The IOC said that after conducting detailed analyses of the case, the Invitation Review Panel decided that "no additional invitations will be extended" to the athletes cleared by CAS.