PYEONGCHANG, February 14. /TASS/. Two Russian athletes, speed skater Sergey Gryaztsov and bobsledder Dmitry Popov, did not go to the 2018 Winter Games as they were not included in the Olympic roster by their respective national sports federations, a spokesman for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) told TASS on Wednesday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Ad Hoc Division in PyeongChang announced earlier in the day that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a mistake failing to extend Olympic invitations to Gryaztsov and Popov although their participation in the 2018 Winter Games had been approved by the IOC task group.
"They were not on the Olympic rosters of their national sports federations since the very beginning as they did not accomplish the necessary athletic norms and did meet the required sports criteria," Konstantin Vybornov said in an interview with TASS.
"The IOC has initially approved them and that is why nobody refused anyone and no one was banned," the Russian Olympic official said. "They are not participating in the Olympics because of insufficient sports results."
Earlier in the day, IOC spokesman Mark Adams told journalists in PyeongChang that the world’s governing Olympic body had reasons for not extending invitations to Gryaztsov and Popov.
Late last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over doping abuse allegations but allowed clean Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag and in the neutral status of an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).
The 23rd Winter Olympic Games kicked off in PyeongChang with an official opening ceremony on February 9 and will conclude on February 25.