Winter Olympics: Ban on 47 Russian athletes and coaches upheld

David J. Phillip  Pool  Getty Images

David J. Phillip Pool Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee previous year issued a blanket ban on Russian athletes taking part in the Olympics following the doping scandal, but also allowed more than 160 "clean" competitors to compete under a neutral flag.

The IOC in December banned Russian Federation from the Games over doping in the country that included massive manipulation of doping samples at the Sochi Olympics and more than 1,000 athletes across several sports.

Another 168 Russians have been invited as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag. Dozens more filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Anti-doping officials praised the ruling, which is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances. He says the Russians should not be allowed in and that what's going on now is like something out of a movie.

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

WADA president Craig Reedie described it as "absolutely correct".

Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge and bobsled. Lucky for the visitors flocking to and around Pyeongchang and Gangneung, the locations of the Olympic facilities, they won't have a hard time indulging in the more savory spirit of the games.

US skeleton veteran John Daly calls the saga that has dogged the Olympic movement for the past four years "absolutely ridiculous".

"As we speak, an estimated 100,000 North Korean citizens labour in modern-day gulags", Pence said.

Nikitina told TASS: "I'm very disappointed".

"They have quite clearly understood that there was systemic manipulation of the anti-doping process", Reedie said.

"They've committed nothing. They get to show up at the Olympic Games, which is a prestigious event, which is what they want to be involved in, and seen as a 'responsible" stakeholder, even though it's clear that they are not".

The 169 sportspeople who have been invited to attend will compete under the banner of "Olympic athletes from Russia" and will fly the Olympic flag rather than the Russian one.

Stephen Hess, an global sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC.

All six were originally refused invitations to compete by the IOC. "That was within the IOC's discretion, and they didn't exercise it arbitrarily". CAS said it "lacked jurisdiction" to hear the cases. "You can't keep them out.' But Russia doesn't have an Olympic team".

Walden has accused the International Olympic Committee and CAS of being "complicit in enabling Russian doping" for not implementing strong punishments for Russian athletes, including a blanket ban.

Friday's verdict, he says, is "a small semblance of justice for clean athletes". It has also suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

USA bobsledder Nick Cunningham said he has tried to not focus on the will-they-or-won't-they drama surrounding the Russians.

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