MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not humiliating Russia by inviting to the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea only clean athletes, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.
Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov announced on Tuesday that the national committee received a list from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the invited national athletes to the 2018 Winter Games and the list did not contain many athletes, including the team’s leaders such as 2014 Olympic Champion in biathlon Anton Shipulin, two-time World Champion in cross-country skiing Sergey Ustyugov and six-time Olympic Champion in short track speed skating Viktor Ahn.
Addressing a telephone news conference on Wednesday, Bach said that the IOC decisions from December 5 were aimed at creating a balance and was not intended to humiliate Russia.
Bach said the IOC is "not humiliating Russia and the Russian athletes by giving clean Russian athletes the opportunity to participate, by giving young and new generation of clean Russian athletes the opportunity to head to the Olympic Games and to be ambassadors for new and clean Russian sport."
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) earlier provided the IOC with the list of Russian athletes, who intended to go to the Winter Games. After that the IOC Invitation Review Panel, chaired by ex-sports minister of France and the Chairperson of the ITA (International Testing Agency), Valerie Fourneyron, picked up from the list the names of athletes, whom the IOC would invite to the 2018 Olympic Games.
On December 5, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the whole 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 the final word in regard to Russian athletes, who will go to PyeongChang under the neutral status.
The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.