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IOC bars 15 Russian athletes from Olympics in S Korea
February 5, 2018, 12:23 pm

WADA has alleged that 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in doping in the 2012 and 2014 Olympics [Xinhua]

The 15 Russian athletes who recently had their doping bans lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will still not be allowed to participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

The 15 members of the national team had tested positive for illegal drugs during the Sochi Olympics in 2016.

The 13 athletes and two coaches were initially blacklisted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which said they were not “clean”.

The IOC said that WADA had provided additional evidence of their complicity, but did not provide it to the public.

Consequently, the IOC issued a statement regretting the CAS ruling and immediately rejected a Russian request for the athletes and coaches to attend Friday’s Olympic Games.

The IOC rejection comes on the heels of a ban in December of all Russian athletes stemming from allegations of widespread doping during the 2016 Sochi Winter Olympics.

But Russian athletes who are tested clean for doping will be allowed to participate in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag; they are prohibited from flying their national colors.

Russian officials say they are shocked and offended by the IOC’s “aggressive” position against their athletes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that the ban was humiliating, but stopped short of calling for a boycott despite other officials saying their national athletes should not compete.

But he has insisted that the ban has been motivated by political considerations stemming from geopolitical rivalry with the US.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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