WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

IOC refuses Russian athletes' request to join Winter Olympics

In a fresh twist to the doping saga that threatens to overshadow the Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Commi...

Posted: Feb 5, 2018 3:57 PM
Updated: Feb 5, 2018 3:57 PM

In a fresh twist to the doping saga that threatens to overshadow the Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused a request for 15 Russian athletes and coaches "cleared of doping" to attend the PyeongChang Games.

The 13 athletes and two coaches were among 28 Russians whose lifetime bans for doping were overturned by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Thursday.

IOC review panel recommends Russian athletes and support staff cleared on appeal should not participate in Games

CAS ruled there was insufficient evidence to show they had broken doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

But the IOC said Monday its invitation review panel examined applications on behalf of the 15 individuals and had lingering suspicions about potential anti-doping violations.

The row puts the IOC, which has always claimed to have the final say on which athletes compete in the Games, at loggerheads with sports law's highest court just days before the Olympics begin in South Korea on February 9.

'Disappointing'

IOC president Thomas Bach called the CAS decision "extremely disappointing and surprising."

"We would never have expected this," the 64-year-old German told a news conference in PyeongChang.

Bach added: "The privilege to be invited requires more than just the absence of a sanction."

The IOC will consider whether to appeal against the decision once it has seen the full details behind the ruling.

Bach also claimed the decision "shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS."

READ: Winter Olympics medal table prediction -- without Russia

In December 2017, the IOC barred Russian athletes from competing in the 2018 Olympics over allegations of state-sponsored doping by Russia in Sochi.

However, Russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be invited to compete under a neutral flag, and will be known as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).

They will wear a uniform with that name on it, and the Olympic anthem will be played at any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes.

The IOC said in a statement the purpose of the review panel was "to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential invitation to the Olympic Winter Games."

It said the panel took into account extra information about the athletes sent to it by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which had "raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes."

At least 168 Russian athletes are participating in the Games, according to the PyeongChang official website. None of the athletes whose bans were overturned feature in the list.

Further blow

In a further 11 cases, CAS ruled that doping violations had been committed but that lifetime bans were not justified and the punishments were reduced to a ban for the 2018 Games alone.

The IOC said at the time the CAS decision could have a "serious impact on the future fight against doping," and added that it could appeal against the decision at the Swiss Federal Tribunal, the country's highest court.

Meanwhile, in another blow to the anti-doping fight, The Sunday Times claims it has seen evidence that suggests widespread blood doping in endurance skiing events between 2001 and 2010.

The paper, in conjunction with German broadcaster ARD, says hundreds of skiers, including some medalists, have escaped bans despite highly abnormal blood test figures.

Neither the IOC or WADA immediately responded to CNN's request for comment regarding the Sunday Times' story.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted there had been "instances of doping use in Russia," but said the issue was a global problem.

Addressing supporters last Tuesday, Putin said: "There were instances of doping use, true -- I want the audience to know this and the whole country to know this," adding, "there are many such examples around the world, but no one is making a big show of it."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33591

Reported Deaths: 1204
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather