Request to invite 15 athletes and coaches to PyeongChang 2018 for the "Olympic Athlete from Russia" group declined
Based on the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel, the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group (OAR IG) has met to discuss the request by the suspended Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to invite 13 more athletes and two more coaches to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
On 2 February 2018, the suspended ROC provided a list of 15 people whose suspension had been lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Thirteen are still active athletes and two are retired athletes who competed at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and are now acting as support personnel.
While the Invitation Review Panel noted the CAS’s decision of 1 February 2018, it also noted that the full reasoning for these decisions had not been made public. The Panel highlighted that its role, according to the IOC Executive Board decision of 5 December 2017, was not to establish ADRVs, but to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential OAR invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Therefore, the Panel unanimously recommended that the IOC not extend an invitation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 to the 15 individuals requested by the suspended ROC.
To give further assurance that all information available to the Panel had been analysed and assessed, the Panel reviewed all 13 athletes submitted by the suspended ROC for OAR invitation places using the same methodology as its initial review of 16 and 17 January 2018 − on a case-by-case basis, individually and anonymously.
Following the detailed analysis conducted by the Panel, its members observed that there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered by the IOC Oswald Commission because it was not available to it, that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes. The additional information included data from the LIMS database, traces of prohibited substances, evidence of steroid profile manipulation and further confidential information provided to the Panel by WADA. In addition, the Panel agreed that the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping or given the Panel sufficient confidence to recommend to the OAR IG that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean.
With respect to the two officials (coaches), the Panel took the view that, due to the evidence available from the Oswald Commission reports and additional information at the disposal of the Panel, these two individuals should not be considered for an invitation to attend the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The Invitation Review Panel is chaired by Dr Valérie Fourneyron, the Chair of the International Testing Agency (ITA) and former French Sports Minister. It includes Mr Günter Younger, Head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Intelligence and Investigations Department; Mr Pedro Goncalves, GAISF DFSU Project Manager in charge of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force secretariat; and Dr Richard Budgett, Olympic rowing champion and IOC Medical and Scientific Director.
In a second step, the recommendation of the Invitation Review Panel was assessed and accepted by the OAR IG, which is chaired by IOC EB Member Nicole Hoevertsz and includes IOC Athletes’ Commission Member Danka Bartekova and IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper. The OAR IG confirmed that no additional invitations will be extended to these 15 individuals. The decision has been communicated to the IOC Athletes’ Commission which supports this position.
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