Eighty Russians to participate in opening ceremony of 2018 Olympics

Eighty Russians to participate in opening ceremony of 2018 Olympics

Eager to shine on its home soil at the 2014 Sochi Games, the nation embarked on a massive scheme that most infamously involved cutting a hole in the wall of the anti-doping lab, so tainted samples could be swapped out for clean urine.

"That's it. The story is over, " Russian delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov said.

"But unfortunately, this is the reality, and we have what we have".

The governing body said many factors had been taken into consideration in setting the times, with the final decision made by the IOC Executive Board based on proposals from the local organising committee and consultations with the worldwide sport federations.

The IOC, however, announced that it will not invite 13 of the athletes and two of the coaches who are still active. "We believe in our athletes, we are proud of them, and we hope that they can achieve their very best sporting results and bring glory to our great motherland".

Truth: under the law, you can get away with a lot of stuff.

That's why the CAS decision, which upheld the IOC's right to decide who could compete at its biannual party, was merely a brief respite in the never-ending war on doping.

The decision comes one day after the CAS panel said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeals of six Russian athletes and seven members of the athletes' entourages, who had also sought to have their bans overturned.


Never mind that Russia's team must compete in neutral uniforms. Dozens of fans at figure skating Friday dressed in national colors, waved the flag and held signs spelling out "Russia in My Heart". But in Pyeongchang, patriotic displays could land Russian athletes in trouble. If they win, it would force the International Olympic Committee to accept athletes it considers to be linked to doping offenses. Maxim Andrianov, another Russian bobsledder, said he doesn't even have a flag inside his room "in case it's visible from outside".

Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge and bobsled. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: 'IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team.

The decision leaves intact the total of 168 Russian athletes who were allowed to come to Pyeongchang to compete, after they passed additional scrutiny. In practice, they're one of the biggest teams in Pyeongchang, with an ROC vice president as team leader and a fully staffed media office.

Pozdnyakov, chef de mission of the Russian contingent, declined to say how many medals the team will aim for this year, and said Russian competitors have been told to follow the International Olympic Committee rules as neutrals.

For all the angst over the timing of the decision the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport issued Friday morning in denying the appeals of 47 Russian athletes and coaches to take part in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which - um, start Friday night - the decision itself was actually straightforward and, to be honest, easy.

Besides a few Russian fans making the journey to South Korea, another group is waiting for the OARs - the drug testers.

"Russia is a full participant in the Olympic Games and Russian Federation can show its sporting power", ambassador Alexander Timonin said.

"It has to end some time", she said.

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