January 22, 2019

Russian Federation says court rejected appeal from athletes under pressure

10 February 2018, 02:07 | Devin Moran

Feb 8 2018 Pyeongchang South Korea United Nationals General Assembly president Miroslav Lajcak and IOC president Thomas Bach (le

Feb 8 2018 Pyeongchang South Korea United Nationals General Assembly president Miroslav Lajcak and IOC president Thomas Bach (le

The Court of Arbitration (CAS) is set to deliver a ruling on Friday, the day of the Games' opening ceremony, on the appeals filed by 47 Russian athletes and coaches over their exclusion from Pyeongchang by the IOC.

For the Pyeongchang Games, Pozdnyakov is the head of the delegation of the "Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation", the no-flag, neutral delegation of 168 athletes that the International Olympic Committee has allowed to compete.

In the coastal South Korean city of Gangneung, Russia has given its supporters a place to celebrate the athletic success as the country's sport faces increased scrutiny over a doping scandal that saw them banned from the Games. Welcoming the CAS' decision, the International Olympic Committee said it supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes.

A fan supporting the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation watches the Pair Skating Short Program Team Event.

However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter.

"The applicants challenge the IOC decision refusing to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games".

Mutko, who in December was banned for life from the Olympics, told Russian news agency TASS: "The procedure of inviting or not inviting is similar those of a commercial private club tournament".

"It's hard for CAS to make decisions against the backdrop of an earlier pressure", Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told Interfax news agency, referring to objections from the International Olympic Committee.

IOC President Thomas Bach stated that one needs to reform the CAS.

The most notable athlete to be kept out is South Korea-born speed skater Viktor Ahn, who holds six gold medals.

The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to South Korea.

Pozdnyakov repeated the goal: to march in the closing ceremony under Russia's flag — not the five-ring, Olympic version.

The verbal spat underscores tensions over the inclusion of Russian athletes at the Games amid a doping controversy.

Davydov arrived fresh from watching the officially-neutral "Olympic Athletes from Russia" compete in figure skating.

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