CAS to announce decision on Russian Olympic appeal hours before opening ceremony
“The CAS Secretary General, Matthieu Reeb, will announce the decisions taken by the CAS Panel in the following matters at the PyeongChang 2018 Main Press Center (PyeongChang room) at 11:00 am Korea Standard Time (GMT +9 hours) on 9 February 2018,” the organization said in statement on Thursday.
Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cleared 28 Russian athletes and lifted their lifetime bans, declaring that evidence presented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”
The CAS decision with met with severe criticism from the IOC, claiming it will have a “very negative” impact on the global fight against doping. “The IOC regrets very much that – according to the CAS press release – the panels did not take this proven existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases,” it said in a statement following the CAS verdict.
“The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.”
IOC President Thomas Bach lambasted the superior sports court for clearing banned Russian team members, saying they “cannot have a situation of [the] CAS losing its credibility with athletes.”
On Monday, the Olympic governing body still denied invitations to the 2018 Games in respect of 13 Russian athletes and two coaches, ignoring the CAS ruling which had dropped all doping allegations against them.
In response to the IOC’s ban, another group of 32 banned Russian national team members, including Sochi Olympic champions short-track skater Viktor Ahn and biathlete Anton Shipulin, filed a lawsuit with the Ad Hoc Division of the CAS to challenge the IOC decision barring them from the upcoming Games.
Swiss law company Schellenberg Wittmer, which acts for the Russian team, stated that the invitation criteria applied to the Russian athletes was non-transparent and illegitimate. It also outlined that citizenship discrimination, inobservance of the CAS verdict, and damage inflicted to the athletes’ reputation, dignity and professional careers were the grounds for opening legal proceedings.