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IOC appeal against CAS ruling to discredit Olympic Charter — Russian official

The Olympic Charter gives the CAS the final say in all matters related to the Games

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee’s possible decision to appeal the annulment of its sanctions against Russian athletes at the Swiss Federal Tribunal will discredit the Olympic Charter, the first deputy vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov told reporters on Thursday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday ruled to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes whom the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier banned for life from participating in the Olympic Games over accusations of breaching anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

"An IOC statement commenting on the CAS decision, among other things, says that the IOC reserves the right to refer the case to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. However, article 61 of the Olympic Charter says that any dispute related to the Olympic Games is to be settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sports," Pozdnyakov said.

"The IOC has given the CAS the final say in all matters related to the Games. The IOC, in first place, must respect and follow the CAS decisions. Otherwise, by appealing the CAS decisions in Switzerland, the IOC will express its lack of confidence to the CAS and cast discredit on the above-mentioned provisions of the Olympic Charter and IOC anti-doping rules," the Russian official added.

The Russian athletes came under the IOC’s ban following a probe by the IOC commission under Denis Oswald, which retested the doping samples from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

The sanctions against them were annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 were 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 Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict does not mean that the 28 acquitted Russian athletes will be automatically granted access to the 2018 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement on Thursday.

"This may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping. Therefore, the IOC will analyze the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. With regard to the participation of athletes from Russia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place. It makes it clear that, since the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is suspended, Russian athletes can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation by the IOC," the statement runs. "The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.".