International Olympic Committee considering appeal against controversial ruling on Russian doping bans

President Thomas Bach has confirmed the International Olympic Committee is contemplating an appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Matt McGeehan
Sunday 04 February 2018 11:34
Thomas Bach confirmed an appeal is possible
Thomas Bach confirmed an appeal is possible

President Thomas Bach has confirmed the International Olympic Committee is contemplating an appeal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling which overturned lifetime doping bans for 28 Russians.

CAS ruled last Thursday there was "insufficient evidence" to uphold the suspensions issued by the IOC following an investigation into state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In a further 11 cases anti-doping violations were confirmed, but their lifetime bans have been reduced just to cover the 2018 Winter Games, which start in Pyeongchang on February 9.

The IOC has complained the CAS rulings could "have a serious impact on the future fight against doping" and Bach says an appeal is being considered.

The German told a media conference in Pyeongchang on Sunday: "Yes - we are considering (an appeal).

"(But) you can only look into an appeal seriously when you have the reasoned decision, which we do not have.

"We need the reasoned decision to see whether we have any prospect of success. If we have any such prospect, we will appeal."

The IOC has been told it may be the end of February by the time the reasoned decision is available, something Bach described as "extremely unsatisfactory".

He called for a review of the internal structures of CAS to resolve issues such as delayed reasoned decisions.

The Winter Olympics open in South Korea on Friday and close on February 25.

Despite not receiving the reasoned decision from CAS, Bach expressed hope that the decision on whether or not to invite the Russian athletes affected by the decision will be made prior to the Winter Olympics beginning.

Bach said: "With regard to the Russian cases, we also have made it very clear that the absence of a sanction by CAS does not mean that you're entitled to receive an invitation from the IOC.

"Receiving this invitation is a privilege for a clean Russian athlete.

"Therefore, we have been following and we will be following the IOC decision of December 5 and have forwarded these cases to the independent panel for review.

"This panel will make its recommendation to the implementation group and this group then, as a delegation of the IOC executive board, will take a final decision.

"I hope very much that this decision will come in the next couple of days."

WADA reports published last year claim 1000 Russian athletes committed state sponsored cheating between 2011 and 2015

There will be Russian athletes in Pyeongchang, competing under the Olympic flag and with the Olympic anthem played. Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) will be the third largest athlete delegation, with 169 athletes. Only the United States and Canada will have more competitors.

Those athletes hoping to be promoted to the podium following the findings against Russian athletes have a further wait for their medals.

"With regards to the reallocation of medals, we have to wait until all legal remedies are exhausted," Bach said. "Unfortunately, here in Pyeongchang, this reallocation of medals cannot happen yet."

Bach added that the IOC is still to receive from the Russian Olympic Committee the US dollars 15million fine demanded in December.

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