MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov hopes that the IOC invitation review panel led by former French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron will cope with reviewing the cases of 15 Russian athletes by the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang scheduled for February 9, Kolobkov told TASS on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Mark Adams of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the panel would review the cases of 15 Russians cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and would consider if they could be invited to the PyeongChang Olympics.
"I hope that the decision on cases of 13 Russian athletes and two coaches will be announced by the start of the Games," Kolobkov said. "Many athletes, who are waiting for this decision, expect the panel’s fair judgement while getting ready for the Olympics."
The CAS on Thursday ruled to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes who the IOC had earlier banned for life from participating in the Olympic Games over accusations of breaching anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
The athletes came under the IOC’s ban following a probe by the IOC commission under Denis Oswald, which retested the doping samples from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The sanctions against them were annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 were reinstated.
Russia’s Olympic Committee (ROC) submitted a request to the IOC asking to send individual invitations for the PyeongChang Olympics to 13 Russian athletes and two coaches. Among them are skeleton racers Alexander Tretiakov, Elena Nikitina, and Maria Orlova; to cross country skiers Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexander Bessmertnykh, Evgenia Shapovalova and Natalia Matveeva; to speed skaters Olga Fatkulina, Alexander Rumyantsev and Artyom Kuznetsov; to luger Tatiana Ivanova as well as to coaches Albert Demchenko and Sergei Chudinov.