Sun, Feb 04, 2018 - Page 11 News List

More Russian athletes may make it to Olympics


Thirteen Russian athletes and two coaches banned for life for doping and then controversially cleared of wrongdoing might be headed to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea after all, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday.

Already 169 Russians have been cleared to compete as “clean” athletes despite a blanket ban on Russia from taking part in the Winter Olympics following revelations of state-sponsored doping.

Just six days from the opening ceremony of the Games, committee spokesman Mark Adams said the cases of the 15 would be examined by a specialist IOC panel who would rule on whether they would be allowed to take part.

“We will take an individual view of each of these athletes before reaching a decision,” he told a press conference following the first day of a two-day IOC executive board meeting in Pyeongchang.

IOC chiefs were on Thursday last week stunned when the Court for Arbitration for Sport overturned life bans imposed on 28 Russian athletes linked to a state-sponsored doping scheme operating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, ruling them potentially eligible for participation in Pyeongchang.

However, of the 28, 13 have either retired from sport or are unavailable for another undisclosed reason, leaving only 15 still eligible to take part, according to a source close to the case.

Adams said that the IOC’s invitation revue panel will examine each case individually before making a decision, but promised that would happen before the Games get underway.

The IOC’s disciplinary commission banned 43 Russian athletes for life and disqualified all Russians from competing at the Pyeongchang Games over the doping conspiracy.

It later said that 169 athletes who had proved they were clean would be allowed to compete.

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