MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. The Russian national men ice hockey team will play to win at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, where they intend to participate under the neutral status, Vladislav Tretiak, the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF), said on Wednesday.
"Russian athletes made their decision and almost all sports federations plan to participate," Tretiak told journalists. "However, we still do not know the roster."
"We have been always setting the highest possible aims and we will be fighting for the first place," Tretiak, who is also the legendary Soviet goaltender indicted in the NHL Hall of Fame, added.
Six Russian female ice hockey players, who were banned for life on Tuesday by the International Olympic committee (IOC) on doping abuse allegations, will appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), he said.
"We will be filing appeals against (IOC’s) decisions regarding the Russian female ice hockey players," Tretiak, who is also the legendary Soviet goaltender indicted in the NHL Hall of Fame, told journalists.
The world’s governing Olympic body stated on Tuesday that based on the findings of the IOC’s Commission led by Denis Oswald, six Russian ice hockey players, Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba, were subjected to sanctions.
According to the IOC, "the six athletes are declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014," and they are also "disqualified from the events in which they participated" at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018. The Russian national men ice hockey team was placed in Group B alongside with the teams from the United States, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision on December 5 to suspend the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.
The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’ The IOC reserved the right to determine Russian athletes, who will have the right to go to 2018 PyeongChang under the neutral status.