MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that denied the appeals of Russian athletes to be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games is "purely political," said Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs.
"The CAS’ decision to acquit, but not to admit, the Russian athletes to the Olympics is purely political. I have no doubt that it was taken under the pressure of the IOC…," the senator wrote on Facebook on Friday.
Kosachev advised the athletes not to give up and continue to fight for their rights. "To address all possible organizations to protect people’s honor and dignity and protect the country’s flag and hymn. This is a situation in which, when all other variants are exhausted (and this is highly probable, unfortunately), it will be necessary to address the European Court of Human Rights," he noted.
The CAS Ad Hoc Division in PyeongChang heard the appeals of 32 Russian athletes on February 7-8, whom the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had not invited to the Olympic Games. Among these athletes were Olympic biathlon champion Anton Shipulin, two-time world cross-country skiing champion Sergey Ustiugov and six-time Olympic champion Viktor Ahn.
On Thursday, hearings on appeals of 13 Russian athletes and two coaches were held in PyeongChang. The IOC earlier suspended these athletes from the Olympics for life and stripped them of their titles earned at the 2014 Sochi Games on the basis of the Oswald commission’s report. They were later acquitted by the CAS, but the IOC denied the athletes individual invitations.
The opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in PyeongChang will be held on Friday. The competitions will run until February 25. As many as 168 Russian athletes will perform at the Games as "Olympic Athletes from Russia.".