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Pyeongchang Winter Olympics IOC rejects Russians cleared by Swiss-based sports tribunal

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The banned athletes are hoping for a last-minute clearance to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that opens on February 9 


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected a request to invite 15 Russian athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics despite the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) overturning their doping bans. 

In a statementexternal link released on Monday, the IOC said its move against the CAS decision was because the “full reasoning for these decisions had not been made public”. The 13 active athletes and two retired ones serving as coaches, were among a group of 28 Russians whose ban against competing was overturned by CAS last week. The ban against 11 other athletes was upheld by CAS. 

The IOC Invitation Review Panel reviewed each case separately and anonymously and concluded there was additional information that was not available to the IOC Oswald Commission that looked into the doping allegations by the Russian contingent at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. This includes “data from the LIMS database, traces of prohibited substances, evidence of steroid profile manipulation and further confidential information” provided to the Panel by World Anti-doping Agency. 

“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 [Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group] that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean,” the IOC statement said. 

On Sunday, the IOC president Thomas Bach had expressed disappointment on the CAS decision to clear the Russian athletes. 

"We only know about the reasons from a very few sentences in a press release," he told the Associated Press. "So far the panel was not able to produce a reasoned decision which we are eagerly waiting for." /ac


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