Russian athletes march as 'OAR' at Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Russian athletes march as 'OAR' at Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

He said that if the Russian athletes implicated in doping had been allowed to take part in the Games now "it would have caused shock".

Richard Budgett, Medical and Scientific Director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has revealed details on further doping tests, claiming that the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation are "clean", but remained in a "high risk group".

However, the Kremlin expressed regret over the rejection of the late appeal.

The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS.

In December, the International Olympic Committee announced that it was banning Russian Federation from competing in Pyeongchang to penalize the country for its vast, government-run doping scheme that allowed it to cheat in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The IOC is based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, where a local court may have offered the Russians a final chance to force the IOC's hand.

The court gave no reason for the Russian withdrawal.

Graf said the exclusion of several team mates would prevent Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation from contending for a medal in the team pursuit event.

While Russia isn't officially competing in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, 168 Russian athletes are competing under the Olympic Athletes from Russia flag.


The IOC's vetting process was created to exclude Russian athletes from the games if IOC officials weren't sure they were clean.

Meanwhile, the chair of UK Sport Katherine Grainger insisted the loss of snowboarder Katie Omerod, who was considered a medal prospect in slopestyle and Big Air, would not derail Team GB's plans for its greatest ever Winter Olympics.

Russian figure skater Evgenia Tarasova said: "It is sad, of course".

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said: "These decisions come as welcome news for WADA, as they will for athletes and all others worldwide that care for clean sport and the integrity of the Games".

Also on the list are former National Hockey League players Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin, who had been considered possible candidates for the Russian team in Pyeongchang. On Thursday, reports emerged of an altercation between a Canadian and a Russian at the athletes' village.

"We welcome this decision, which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes", said the IOC. "For all those who aren't indifferent, our team has worked up a collection of prints which strictly conform to the political demands, and bolster the spirits of Russia's fans and athletes at the 2018 games".

Short-track speedskater Victor Ahn - a six-time Olympic gold medallist - is among the athletes to have been denied the opportunity to participate in Pyeongchang.

Investigations revealed an elaborate plot where tainted Russian urine samples were switched with clean ones using a "mousehole" in the wall of the Sochi anti-doping laboratory. Russian Federation has denied any government links to the conspiracy. But the International Olympic Committee has banned the former sports minister Mutko for life.

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