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Deputy PM Dvorkovich hopes IOC invites another 15 Russians to Games

February 03, 17:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Dvorkovich called the decision by CAS to uphold appeals of 13 Russian athletes "absolutely reasonable and fair"

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MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich hopes the International Olympic Committee will invite Russia’s another 13 athletes and two coaches to the Games in PyeongChang.

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.

"I find CAS’ decisions absolutely reasonable and fair," the deputy prime minister said. "However, this does not mean the athletes would be invited to the Games, but we are fighting for them. This is an important decision, which demonstrates the earlier accusations were unreasonable."

"I hope, within two days, IOC will discuss inviting the cleared athletes," he said. "We have filed an official application. We hope for a positive result, though it is impossible to predict anything, as the IOC counterparts are rather unpredictable."

According to the deputy prime minister, Russians should prove by victories that they are honest and open. "I doubt we would be able to persuade those who for whatever political or other reasons would not listen to anything. We must win and thus prove we are honest and open. [WADA’s whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov] is a person, suffering a certain disorder, and it is strange his statements are taken for granted," Dvorkovich said.

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. 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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