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Russia does everything to make sure cleared athletes participate in Games - Deputy PM

February 03, 14:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

We should drop emotions and talk law, as we see a breach of the basis norm - not to punish the innocent, Mutko said

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Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russia is doing everything to make sure the Russian athletes, cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), could participate in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, Head of IOC’s Communications Department Mark Adams announced the commission led by Valerie Fourneyron would consider inviting another 13 Russian athletes and two coaches, whose appeals on February 1 CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) ruled to uphold.

"We have never doubted our athletes are clean, and now we should do everything to make sure the athletes, acquitted by CAS, could participate in the Games," the deputy prime minister said. "This work continues. We have very limited time."

"We hope, this issue would be faced in cooperation, in discussions," he continued. "If those are continuing ultimatums and rejections, that would be different."

"We should drop emotions and talk law, as we see a breach of the basis norm - not to punish the innocent," Mutko said. "As yet, we have not received the motivation [from CAS], thus it is impossible to give comments - as yet, we know only the court’s decision to clear them."

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the entire Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.

The International Olympic Committee, 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.’

On February 1, CAS ruled to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes whom the International Olympic Committee earlier banned for life from participating in the Olympic Games over accusations of breaching anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

The court also partially upheld appeals of 11 Russian athletes, replacing a life ban from all Olympic Games with a ban on participating only in the PyeongChang Games.

The IOC admitted 168 Russian athletes to the Games. They will compete under the Olympic flag as "Olympic athletes from Russia". IOC earlier announced it would not invite some leading Russian athletes to the Olympics, among who are short-track skater Viktor Ahn, biathlete Anton Shipulin, skier Sergei Ustyugov, speed skaters Pavel Kulizhnikov and Denis Yuskov, and figure skaters Ksenia Stolbova and Ivan Bukin.

The upcoming 23rd Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.

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