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Russian MP says Bach’s statement on CAS reform is discouraging

The IOC needs to be reformed instead of the CAS, Mikhail Degtyarev said

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Statements by President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach on the necessity to reform the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after it cleared 28 Russian athletes are disappointing and discouraging, a Russian lawmaker told TASS on Sunday.

On February 1, CAS ruled to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes whom the International Olympic Committee earlier banned for life from participating in the Olympic Games over accusations of breaching anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The court also partially upheld appeals of 11 Russian athletes, replacing a life ban from all Olympic Games with a ban on participating only in the PyeongChang Games.

Commenting on the CAS ruling on Sunday, Bach said that the IOC was disappointed at the CAS award, which signals the need for a reform of that court.

"After Thomas Bach’s statement it becomes evident that it is the IOC that needs to be reformed rather than the CAS. His statement is absolutely discriminatory," said Mikhail Degtyarev, chairman of the committee for physical culture, sport, tourism and youth affairs of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house.

"The court has cleared only some of our athletes, justice has been served. Some are still under sanctions. It indicates a serious approach of the sports arbitration court to each concrete case. No chest-thumping, no collective responsibility, unlike other institutions. That is why Bach’s statement is disappointing and discouraging as it once again gives away political motives behind the entire Russia case," he stressed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport was set up in 1984 at the IOC’s initiative. All Olympics-related disputes are referred to the CAS only.