Abrahamson: Russian athletes denied appeal to compete in PyeongChang

Erica Murray
February 11, 2018

Speaker of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin has called for a firm response from his colleagues to the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling, which denied Olympic entry to 47 Russian athletes.

Figure skating events are most often held in the afternoons or evenings, but at the Pyeongchang games a majority of the competitions start at 10 a.m. local (0300 GMT) - which is prime evening television time in North America.

The IOC ruling bans them from defiant statements on social media, or flying the flag in the Olympic Village.

The IOC welcomed the decision of the CAS, claiming in a statement that it "supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".

"I'm having a very unusual feeling..."

The IOC refused to invite them to Pyeongchang however, saying it had lingering suspicions, so they went back to CAS to try and overrule the Olympic body.

To get to the Olympics, Sergeeva had to pass an International Olympic Committee vetting process, with athletes' names checked against data of possible past Russian drug use and cover-ups.

Speaking on the eve of the opening ceremony, ROC vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said: "We hope that the IOC suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee will be lifted before the end of the Games".

The CAS panel determined the Russian applicants did not demonstrate that the two IOC special commissions - the invitation review panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia implementation group - carried out their evaluations in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner.

The Russians haven't medaled at all in the last three Olympics, which is motivation enough.

The appellants had asked CAS to overturn a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to invite them over doping concerns, meaning they won't be joining the 150 competitors cleared to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR).

On Friday, Jim Walden, the lawyer of whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian anti-doping lab who has fled the country and lives in hiding in the United States, said IOC President Thomas Bach should resign. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: 'IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team.

Earlier on Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed 47 appeals from Russian athletes and coaches, including Ahn, to participate in the Games.

The IOC is considering an appeal against that decision.

Russian Federation simply has to go along with this farce for the first 16 days of the games, which includes accepting a prohibition on the raising of its flag or the playing of its national anthem during official ceremonies, the wearing of neutral-sounding-but-not-really OAR uniforms during the competition, and eschewing any sort of mass protest that might embarrass the IOC.

"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".

Addressing supporters in Moscow, Putin said "there were instances of doping use, true - I want the audience to know this and the whole country to know this".

"If dirty athletes are taken out, then clean athletes will prevail, " Cunningham said. I was hoping that CAS would take our side.

Other reports by Insurance News

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