Russia hails CAS not banning athletes from Olympics, slams Putin exclusion

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Diamond League athletics.
Diamond League athletics.
Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via Getty Images

Russia's Olympic Committee on Thursday expressed its satisfaction with the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to not ban the country's athletes from participating in the Olympics.

Sport's highest court on Thursday barred Russia from the international stage for two years including the rearranged Tokyo Olympics and Beijing Winter Games, but halved a four-year ban for systemic doping imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The country will also miss out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Russian Olympic Committee's president Stanislav Pozdnyakov expressed satisfaction that CAS had not "collectively" banned Russia's athletes, who will still be able to participate under a neutral flag if they prove no connection to doping.

Mikhail Bukhanov, acting head of the country's anti-doping agency RUSADA, said: "Today's results are a victory for Russia."

"The court decided not to accept the theses that WADA demanded. Of course, this is a significant precedent," he added.

However Pozdnyakov blasted as "unacceptable" CAS's decision to ban Russia's high-ranking officials, including the country's president Vladimir Putin, from attending the Games.

Russia has been roiled by the doping saga for the past four years, after the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov blew the whistle over state-backed doping at the country's 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia considers the resulting ban to be legally indefensible and Putin has slammed the decision as "politically motivated".

On Thursday Russian news agency RIA Novosti cited Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin as saying that he "regretted" the ban on Russian officials at the Games.

"We believe that Russia in this period, over recent years, has done a lot for the development of world sport," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your views on the World Rugby men's Player of the Year nominations for 2021 not including any Springboks?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a disgrace! Both Siya Kolisi AND Eben Etzebeth should have been nominated!
39% - 6454 votes
Siya, at the very least, should have been included after a superb season
6% - 1022 votes
Etzebeth has been SA's best player this year and should feel hard done by
21% - 3508 votes
Get over it! Moaning about this just sounds like sour grapes!
33% - 5511 votes
Vote