International Olympic Committee boss: Africa could host Olympics by 2032

Dean Simpson
February 8, 2018

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) says that it will not hear an appeal of at least six Russian athletes who were banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics until after the competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Among the 32 appealing their Olympic bans are multiple Olympic champion speed skater Viktor Ahn and biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin.

The IOC's disciplinary commission banned 43 Russian athletes for life and disqualified Russia from competing at the Pyeongchang Games over the doping conspiracy.

Earlier, the CAS upheld appeals filed by 28 Russian athletes, who had received lifetime bans on participating in any Olympics event over the alleged doping violations in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The ruling by the sports court was a blow to the International Olympic Committee and has shifted some of the focus away from Friday's opening of the games in frigid South Korea with about 3,000 athletes participating.

They appealed to CAS after the International Olympic Committee refused a Russian request to invite them, a day after a similar appeal was filed by 32 Russian athletes who were not invited in the first place by the IOC. Those athletes competing in the Games will remain under scrutiny these next three weeks.

Athletes from around the world are finally getting the chance to test-drive their Olympic courses, including the eight-member USA freestyle ski moguls team, seven of whom have never been to the Olympics.

A key part of that response was the decision in December to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee and allow only invited Russians to compete in Pyeongchang as part of a "neutral" Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team.

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

"The decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping, or given the panel sufficient confidence to recommend. those 13 athletes could be considered as clean".

Last week's CAS hearings were a result of allegations of a vast state-sponsored doping programme contained in the report into Sochi authored by sports law professor Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency. Moscow drug-testing lab officials admitted to intentionally destroying more than 1,400 drug test samples a few days before a WADA inspection.

Russian television network RT quoted head coach Aleksey Chistyakov as saying on Monday that a practice session had been interrupted by the tests after they arrived in South Korea.

"For years, worldwide sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians".

Much of the conversation in the days leading to these Olympics has centered on the IOC's so-called banishment of Russian Federation from these Games.

"This decision has little in common with sports, its goal is to do political damage to Russian Federation", he said.

"We're not talking about politics... we're talking about how we respond to attacks on those fundamental values by a country which voluntarily agreed to respect those values - and which then attempted to destroy them", he added.

"It was a shock as we felt the evidence we presented was strong enough to justify the sanctions we had taken", said Oswald.

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