Court rejects appeals by 47 Russians against Olympic bans

first_imgNEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers In this February 15, 2014 photo, men’s 1,000-meter short track speed-skating gold medalist Viktor Ahn, of Russia, gestures while holding his medal during the medals ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Six-time Olympic gold medalist Ahn and three former NHL players are among 45 Russian athletes and two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, February 9, 2018. (AP FILE PHOTO) As well as the 45 athletes, the ruling covers a luge coach and a skeleton coach.The IOC has refused to comment on individual Russian athletes but says it decided who to exclude using a newly obtained Moscow laboratory database with evidence of past doping offenses.It refused to invite some Russians even after their disqualifications from the 2014 Olympics were lifted by CAS last week.Stephen Hess, an international sports lawyer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said the decision was a victory for the IOC.“There is no absolute right to get an invitation from the IOC to come to the Olympics,” Hess said in a telephone interview. “That was within the IOC’s discretion, and they didn’t exercise it arbitrarily. If Russia had an Olympic team, CAS might have said: ‘IOC, the Russians can put them on their own team. You can’t keep them out.’ But Russian doesn’t have an Olympic team.”The IOC pointed to a CAS statement that declared the Russians were not necessarily innocent of doping, just that the evidence was insufficient to ban them. Also, the IOC said, “there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered” in last week’s CAS case “that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes.”US athletes praised the decision and the end to uncertainty around the participation of some Russian athletes.“That is great news,” said US women’s skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender, who placed fourth in the Sochi Olympics — one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, who was one of the 45 appealing her ban. U.S. bobsledder Nick Cunningham said he’s tried to not focus on the will-they-or-won’t-they drama surrounding the Russians.“It’s not going to change what happens to me in the next two weeks,” Cunningham said. “If dirty athletes are taken out, then clean athletes will prevail. That’s what I hope.”    /kga PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Sports’ highest court rejected appeals by all 45 Russian athletes plus two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced on Friday, less than nine hours before the opening ceremony.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had refused to invite the group of Russians, saying it had evidence of alleged doping in Russian sports.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter two days of hearings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IOC has the right to set its own standards for who is eligible.CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, reading from a statement and declining to take questions, said the IOC process “could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision.” The IOC’s vetting process was designed to exclude Russian athletes from the games if IOC officials were not sure they were clean, even if they had not been banned for doping.The IOC subsequently invited 168 Russians to participate as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag in a decision designed to balance the rights of individual athletes with the need for a strong deterrent to doping.The Russian delegation in Pyeongchang declined requests for comment, with spokesman Konstantin Vybornov saying “that’s it — the story is over.”The ruling is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances.Among those excluded are six-time gold medalist Viktor Ahn, the short track speed-skater whose return to his native South Korea for the Olympics had been hotly anticipated by local fans.Also out are cross-country skiing gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge, and bobsled.Three former NHL players — Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin — also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they would have played even if they had been successful, since the Russian roster is already full.United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the decision was a “a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark and sordid affair.”“You hope justice has been served but how some of these athletes can keep dirty medals from Sochi but be excluded now is hard to reconcile,” Tygart said. “And why the IOC rushed the process on the Sochi medal decisions is unexplainable and a tragedy for clean athletes.”The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES Read Next Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Golden State forward Draymond Green fined $50,000 AFP official booed out of forum “The CAS panel found that the applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions — the Invitation Review Panel and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group — independently evaluated the applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner. The Panel also concluded that there was no evidence the (commissions) improperly exercised their discretion.”The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency welcomed the decision. The IOC issued a statement saying the decision “supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes.”WADA president Craig Reedie described it as “absolutely correct.”“I am delighted at the decision and the way they expressed it,” Reedie told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. “They have quite clearly understood that there was systemic manipulation of the anti-doping process.“It means the games can proceed. Athletes can get their heads down and go. This particular issue is now behind us.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith

first_imgMike Myers. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net“He’s our stand-in import,” bared TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio, as both Smith and Myers attended the pre-Finals press conference at Sambokojin in Libis on Monday.TNT coach Nash Racela is keeping his faith in Smith.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“In my mind, it’s still Joshua,” Racela said.Joshua Smith speaks with the media during a pre-finals press conference on Monday, June 19, 2017, at Sambokojin in Eastwood, Libis. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSmith is still recovering from a torn ligament in his right foot, an injury he sustained early in Game 3 of TNT’s semifinals series against Ginebra. Uncertainty still looms over the TNT camp regarding which import the team is fielding in for Game 1 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.Though Joshua Smith showed signs of promise days before Game 1, the KaTropa have left no stones unturned as they flew in a possible replacement import in Mike Myers.ADVERTISEMENT Racela keeps faith in TNT import Joshua Smith2.3K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 “Of course at this point, if we could, we want to stick with Joshua. He’s familiar with the game, with the PBA, the officiating. He’s been with the team for a month and a half, so the question is why replace him if he can play?” he said. “If we can stick with him until the last game, then we will. If he can play Game 1, then we’ll stick with him.”Smith thinks he can still be of use for the KaTropa in their title quest.“I’m just taking it day by day. I feel good. The last two days really helped. I’m ready.”Smith reiterated that regardless of his condition, the goal is still the same which is to win a title.“I came over with one goal, to help TNT win the championship. We’re going up against a really good team. I just hope it’s a great series,” he saidADVERTISEMENT MOST READ From UAAP to PBA, Austria and Racela renew coaching battle in finals Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What ‘missteps’? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more