IOC Won't Invite 15 Formerly Banned Russians To Olympics

IOC Won't Invite 15 Formerly Banned Russians To Olympics

IOC President Thomas Bach had opposed the lifting of the athletes' ban, describing the CAS decision as "extremely disappointing and surprising".

'We would have never imagined a similar decision, ' the official said after a meeting of the IOC Executive Board held in this city, which will host the 23rd Winter Olympics, scheduled to open on February 9. Bach said the explanation from CAS may not come until the end of February, meaning the International Olympic Committee may not be able to appeal the CAS decision until after Pyeongchang closes.

The suspended Russian Olympic Committee had asked for the 15 to be allowed to take part as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) under the Olympic flag.

The 15 were among a group of 28 Russians who had been banned for life from the Olympics for doping, but whose suspensions were overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday.

Bach is hopeful that a final decision on whether or not to invite the Russian athletes affected by the CAS ruling will be made before the Winter Olympics get underway on Friday.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has also expressed "serious concern" over the decision by CAS, which said it had insufficient evidence to leave the bans in place.

"We need the reasoned decision to see whether we have any prospect of success", Bach said.

"Last week not only us but all clean athletes experienced a step back in this continued fight (against doping) when this gift was potentially removed as a result of this CAS decision", he said.

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Bach called for a review of CAS, something which the International Olympic Committee executive board discussed "at length" on Saturday.

Furthermore, there were "additional elements and/or evidence" which had not been available to the IOC Oswald Commission, which investigated doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games.

They slipped to fourth after the IOC-imposed sanctions before catapulting back to the summit once more after the CAS decision. "Unfortunately, here in Pyeongchang, this reallocation of medals can not happen yet".

'CAS has to change in structure in a way that it can ensure that it can better manage the quality and consistency of its jurisdiction'.

'I hope very much that this decision will come in the next couple of days'.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks during a press conference at the Media Press Centre in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on February 4, 2018.

"From the very start, we've insisted that our athletes are not involved in any doping frauds, and now we are happy that the court has restored their name and all rewards were returned to them", Said Zhurkov.

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