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Kremlin frustrated with IOC’s ambiguous ‘news’ on clean Russian athletes

Putin's spokesman hopes that the situation will be clarified one way or another

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has described reports saying that some clean Russian athletes could be barred from the Winter Olympics as "frustrating news" expressing the hope that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will clarify the situation.

"Indeed, we saw this frustrating news in media reports. We would find it regrettable if such decisions have already been made," the Kremlin spokesman told reporters. "We hope that the situation will be clarified one way or another, because contacts with the IOC are being maintained, though on a limited scale. We hope that during these contacts we will be able to clarify [the situation] with the aforementioned Russian athletes."

Earlier reports said that the lists of Russian athletes invited to the Olympics by the IOC do not include biathlete Anton Shipulin, short track speed skater Viktor Ahn and cross-country skier Sergey Ustyugov.

Olympic champion, leader of the Russian men’s national biathlon team Anton Shipulin and leader of the Russian men’s national cross-country speed skiing team Sergey Ustyugov are currently not on the list of the athletes invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the PyeongChang Olympic Games, First Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov said earlier on Tuesday.

"Much to our regret, the list we were provided shortly before lacks a number of leading Russian athletes in some sports. These athletes, such as, for example, Viktor Ahn, Anton Shipulin and Sergey Ustyugov, were not involved in the probe as part of the Oswald Commission hearings. They have not been involved in any doping affairs either, while the numerous tests they had passed during their careers indicate that they are clean athletes. Nevertheless, their names have not been added to the list of potential Games participants to date," Pozdnyakov said.

On Monday, news came that six-time Olympic short track speed skating champion Viktor Ahn would not be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games along with his teammates Denis Hayrapetyan and Vladimir Grigoryev.