'Unsportsmanlike behavior' Russian officials react as IOC's appeal against Legkov overturned by CAS Get short URL Russian sports officials compared the behavior of the IOC to "unsportsmanlike behavior" after the organization negatively reacted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to clear skier Alexander Legkov of doping.
Right before the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, the Swiss Federal Court Tribunal cleared 28 Russian athletes – overturning Olympic bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as punishment for alleged doping violations. Back then, the court stated that the evidence was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”
Following the decision, the IOC announced that it would appeal the verdict. However, the court turned down the IOC appeal, which challenged its last year's verdict to lift the life ban of Russia’s prominent skier and Sochi 2014 champion Legkov. Reacting to the news the IOC branded the desision as "disappointing."
“I think we all should turn the page and build up new cooperation with international sports bodies,” Russian Skiing Federation head Elena Vyalbe told RT.
“This doping story was launched just by one man (Rodchenkov) and others simply revealed it. I just want the doping scandal to be forgotten with both sides apologizing to each other and starting working from scratch.
“Sport should stay beyond politics and remain unbiased and fair. Being a sports figure, I don’t want my athletes to suffer from some unclear accusations,” she added.
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The former athlete and multiple world and Olympic champion stressed that all athletes competing on the international stage should be treated equally, with no punishment being imposed without evidence.
“I want all the athletes to be treated equally. If a person is guilty, he or she must be penalized, but it should be an individual punishment. But on the whole, I want that the rules to be applied equally to all athletes and countries, including Russia, USA, Finland, Norway and others. I’m not against excessive control and additional attention, I just don’t want our athletes to punished without any evidence of their guilt.”
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Russian Luge Federation General Manager Stanislav Tyurin described the court’s decision as fair, adding that Russian athletes’ victories at the 2014 Olympics were not achieved with help of doping.
“These medals were won in fair competition and it’s absolutely correct that that our athletes won’t be stripped of them. I don’t think the court’s decision will have an impact on Russia’s participation in future Olympics, because everything will be decided right before the Games, as it happened in 2018 before the Pyeongchang Olympics. It’s too early to talk about it,” Tyurin told RT.
“I don’t think there will be any provocations because the IOC wants Russia to take part in international sporting events,” he added.
READ MORE: ‘Grigory Rodchenkov confused his own evidence while testifying in CAS’ – lawyer
Olympic silver medalist and coach of the Russian luge team, Albert Demchenko, said he was satisfied with the Swiss court’s verdict, adding that he didn’t expect the IOC to behave in such an “unsportsmanlike” way.
“Of course I’m pleased with Swiss Federal Court’s decision to turn down the IOC’s appeal. Honestly, I didn’t expect the IOC to display such an unsportsmanlike behavior,” he said.
“The entire legal process initiated by the IOC was unfair. They simply swallowed baseless allegations against Russia,” Demchenko added.