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IOC publishes criteria for Russian athletes’ invitations to 2018 Olympics

The upcoming Olympics will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) published on Thursday a list of criteria, which were used by its Invitation Review Panel in making decisions on the invitations for Russian athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

"The OAR (Olympic Athlete from Russia) Invitation Review Panel today released a summary of some of the key elements of information used by the Panel during its deliberations, which determined the pool of Russian athletes who could be invited by the IOC to take part in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as OARs," the IOC said in its statement.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) earlier provided the IOC with the list of Russian athletes, who intended to go to the Winter Games. After that the IOC Invitation Review 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 invite to the 2018 Olympic Games.

ROC Vice President Stanislav Pozdnyakov announced on Tuesday that the national committee received the list from the IOC Invitation Review Panel and it did not contain 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 speed skating Viktor Ahn.

"The list on which the Invitation Review Panel based its considerations covers a wide range of information," Valerie Fourneyron was quoted as saying by the IOC statement.

"It includes, for example, evidence of suspicious Steroid Profile values, DNA inconsistencies and irregularities of the Athlete Biological Passport, as well as evidence provided by the McLaren and Schmid Reports and the Disciplinary Commission of Denis Oswald; information provided by various departments of WADA; and intelligence provided by Olympic Winter Sports Federations and the Pre-Games Testing Taskforce," she said.

"Overall, it is comprehensive but by no means exhaustive; and I would like to stress that we also looked at a wide range of intelligence and other sources," Fourneyron stated. "Additionally, all our decisions were taken by consensus of the Panel, and each case was considered individually and with anonymity."

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the whole Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.

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.