PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, February 9. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has welcomed the announcement by the Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which dismissed the application filed by 47 Russian athletes and coaches against the IOC’s decision not to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea, WADA said in a statement on Friday.
"These decisions come as welcome news for WADA; as they will, for athletes and all others worldwide that care for clean sport and the integrity of the Games," WADA President Sir Craig Reedie was quoted as saying.
"The timing of these decisions just before the opening ceremony in PyeongChang is good as it will reassure athletes and others that only Russian athletes, which have met strict anti-doping criteria will be participating in the Games," he added.
On Wednesday, CAS started considering appeals by 32 Russian athletes not invited to the Games. Besides, the CAS panel also considered appeals filed by 13 Russian athletes and two coaches, who had been slapped by the IOC with life-time Olympic bans, were later cleared by the CAS, but were still denied by the IOC invitations to participate in the 2018 Olympics.
The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018. Doping-free athletes from Russia will participate in the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for 'Olympic Athlete from Russia'. Currently, Russia’s delegation to the Games includes 168 athletes.