MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Moscow calls to continue standing up for the rights of Russian athletes in courts and is very happy for those athletes whose appeals have been upheld, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
"We have stated many times that certainly, we will continue supporting our athletes through all possible channels in any steps aimed at defending their rights," Peskov said.
The decision of the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the Russian athletes confirms that "the energetic steps on defending the rights in court and in other categories are justified, they may be effective and they should continue," he noted.
"We hope that certainly these steps will continue and we are very happy for our athletes," Peskov stressed.
Peskov said he did not know if the athletes, whose appeals had been upheld, could take part in the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics. "This is a difficult issue, expert-level contacts continue with the IOC and these contacts will already clarify how the current situation may be compensated," he noted.
"The discussion is about challenging the earlier made decision in courts, and I hope this practice will continue and this is a peaceful legal struggle for the interests and rights of our athletes," Peskov stressed.
Speaking on the use of doping by Russian athletes, Peskov said: "No doubt, many other countries had these problems." Peskov also recalled President Vladimir Putin’s recent remark that Russia will continue its uncompromising fight against the use of doping.
On Thursday, the CAS announced its decision to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes, who had been earlier banned for life by the IOC from participating in the Olympic Games over charges of abuse of anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
The CAS upheld the appeals of bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov, Aleksey Negodailo, Olga Stulneva and Liudmila Udobkina, and skeleton racers Aleksander Tretiakov, Sergei Chudinov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsyna and Maria Orlova, cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexey Petukhov, Nikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh, Evgenia Shapovalova and Natalia Matveeva, speed skaters Olga Fatkulina, Alexander Rumyantsev, Ivan Skobrev and Artem Kuznetcov, lugers Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko, ice hockey players Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Tatiana Burina, Anna Shchukina and Ekaterina Smolentseva.
The court ruled that the sanctions against them are annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated.
Earlier reports said that in case of the CAS favorable decision these athletes might participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25.
The CAS also partially upheld appeals of 11 Russian athletes, replacing a life ban from all Olympic Games with a ban on participating only in South Korea’s PyeongChang Games.