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WADA seriously concerned by CAS decision to lift sanctions against Russian athletes

WADA seriously concerned by CAS decision to lift sanctions against Russian athletes

The vice president of the World Anti-Doping Agency said Friday "the situation, (in) which we now find ourselves, is very chaotic" after 28 Russian athletes had their Olympic doping bans overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russia has never doubted its athletes' honest victory at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, commenting on the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) decision to rehabilitate over two dozen Russian athletes.

"With regard to the participation of athletes from Russian Federation at the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board [from December] remains in place", the Olympic governing body continued.

Bobsleigher Maxim Belugin was the only Russian athlete of 43 who did not submit an appeal against the International Olympic Committee decision to impose lifetime bans at the end of a year ago.

Russian president Vladimir Putin suggests that most Russian athletes are clean.

But the Games have triggered a sudden apparent rapprochement between the two Koreas and Olympic officials are enjoying reflected glory from the diplomatic thaw.

"It is necessary to treat with respect not only the court's ruling, which evokes nothing but joy, proving our position that an overwhelming majority of our athletes are clean. We will do this in determined fashion with WADA".

CAS reduced sanctions against a further 11 Russians, imposed after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, to now only ban them from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"We really hope that the International Olympic Committee make a decision in favor of all clean athletes who earned the right to compete at the Olympics", he told reporters.

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"Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation", it said.

However, it said it regretted that the panel did not acknowledge the violations for the other 28 cases, expressing concerns for the future fight against doping.

Cas's decision means that the 28 are theoretically free to compete in Pyeongchang, where the Games start next week, and in some cases will have medals returned.

"WADA understands that this decision will cause dismay and frustration among athletes".

Aside from the men's Olympic skeleton champion Aleksander Tretiakov and cross-country champion Alexander Legkov, the current women's European and World Cup skeleton champion Elena Nikitina was among those cleared.

The Russian Investigative Committee has been investigating the "doping scandal" just like law enforcement organizations of other countries.

"I have said many times that I have never doped and do not dope now". "It's a matter of my life, what I do, and when you're accused like that it's very unpleasant and everything falls apart for you". "They invite whoever they want..."

Representatives of the US Justice Department announced the beginning of investigation into corruption in such worldwide sports organizations as the global Olympic Committee (IOC), the worldwide Football Federation (FIFA), the worldwide Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and the National Olympic Committee of the United States, The New York Times newspaper wrote.

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