Russian speed skater Graf rejects Olympics invitation to compete as neutral athlete

Russian speed skater Graf rejects Olympics invitation to compete as neutral athlete

President Vladimir Putin has apologized to Olympic athletes over Russia's inability to protect them from the situation around the Games.

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, set to run from February 9 to 25, will be the largest Winter Olympics in history, with 2,925 athletes from 92 nations set to participate in 15 sports.

But CAS slashed their lifetime Olympic bans to a ban from the Pyeongchang Games.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year's best sports stories.

The Russian Olympic Committee promised to take the IOC decisions to global courts, included human rights, the decisions to stop athletes without possibility to go to the Winter Games of February, sportsmen who never turned out to be involved in any case of doping, without offering any explanation.

However, officials have cleared 169 Russian athletes to compete at the Winter Games but they would not be representing the European nation.

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Walden added that Rodchenkov "testified fully and credibly" at CAS and his evidence was verified by forensic evidence and other whistleblowers.

A statement from Rodchenkov's lawyers, quoted by the BBC, called the CAS decision a "complete "get out of jail free card" for most" of the athletes.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Russian deputy prime minister in charge of sport said the Lausanne-based court finding proved Moscow did not have a vast state-sponsored system of doping in place, contrary to the McLaren report. "Sports clean from doping, clean from other off-site issues that are uncommon in sports", he said. However, Putin said Russian Federation would continue to work with global sports organizations. All of them were retroactively disqualified from the Sochi games over the doping allegations.

"In 11 cases, the evidence collected was found to be sufficient to establish an individual anti-doping rule violation". The IOC said it "clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation" of the Sochi Olympics anti-doping procedures.

Speed skater Olga Graf rejected the invitation on Tuesday, saying "the sport has become a bargaining chip in dirty political games".

Russian athletes won't be allowed to display the flag in Pyeongchang, or to celebrate with Russian flags given by fans. If one of them wins a medal, the Olympic anthem will play instead of the Russian anthem.

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