MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against extending invitations to Russian biathlon racers Alexei Volkov and Yevgeny Garanichev to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, a source close to the situation told TASS on Tuesday.
Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov announced earlier in the day that the national committee received a list from the IOC of the invited national athletes to the 2018 Winter Games and the list and it missed many athletes, including the team’s leaders such as 2014 Olympic Champion in biathlon Anton Shipulin, two-time World Champion in cross-country skiing Sergey Ustyugov and six-time Olympic Champion in short track Viktor Ahn.
"Two more Russian biathletes, who participated in the (2014) Winter Olympic Games, were not invited," the source said. "They are Volkov and Garanichev.
The ROC earlier provided the IOC with the list of Russian athletes, who intended to go to the Winter Games. After than a special IOC Panel, chaired by ex-sports minister of France and the Chairperson of the ITA (International Testing Agency), Valerie Fourneyron, picked up from the list the names of athletes, whom the IOC would like to invite to the 2018 Olympic Games.
The edited list with the names of the athletes was returned by the IOC to the ROC on Monday and it missed the names of Russia’s leading athletes, including the leader of the Russian biathlon team, Anton Shipulin.
The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’ The IOC reserved the right to the final word in regard to Russian athletes, who will go to PyeongChang under the neutral status.
The upcoming Olympics, which are the 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.