IOC to appeal CAS decision to overturn sanctions against 28 Russian athletes

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From Inside the Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) plan to appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to clear 28 Russians accused of doping to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, it has been announced today.

IOC Presidential spokesperson Mark Adams confirmed following discussion at an Executive Board meeting here that they are “dissatisfied both by the decision and the motivation”.

However, the body’s President Thomas Bach said later that “the chances of winning did not play a role” in their decision.

“The only factor which led us to the decision was this protection of the clean athletes who have finished behind these Russian athletes who have not been declared innocent,” he said.

CAS overturned decisions against 28 of 39 Russian athletes sanctioned by the IOC for implication in the “systemic manipulation” of the anti-doping system at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Two of these cases – involving cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who was cleared, and bobsledder Alexander Zubkov, who was not – have now been published in full.

CAS said that they were unable to prove any of the “factual allegations” made by the IOC, casting doubt on elements of the testimony provided by former Moscow Laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, who has provided much of the evidence in the Russian doping cases.

They maintained that the ruling only concerned individual proof and that they were not challenging the general basis of the doping allegations, although it was interpreted that way in Russia.

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