Kremlin 'very glad' at lifting of ban on 28 Russian athletes

President Kim Jong-Un

Vladimir Putin tells Russian Olympic athletes to ignore doping scandal

The IOC banned the Russians for doping breaches at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014 after an independent report commissioned by WADA said there was a state-run doping program in Russia.

Pro-Kremlin media outlet Izvestiya reported earlier this week that the competition for banned athletes would take place in the Black Sea resort of Sochi which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.

This month's Winter Olympics in South Korea will set a record even before the first athlete comes out of a starting gate, organisers said Thursday - for the largest number of free condoms handed out at a Winter Games.

Around 50 protesters took to the streets of the capital in sub-zero conditions to protest against the involvement of North Korea in the winter games which begin on 8 February in the Pyeongchang region.

CAS revealed that it will give reasoned decisions for overturning the bans in due course.

"The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games".

The 28 athletes include 11 medal winners, among them gold medallists Alexander Legkov (cross-country skiing) and Alexander Tretiakov (skeleton).

"We really hope that the International Olympic Committee make a decision in favor of all clean athletes who earned the right to compete at the Olympics", he told reporters.

Putin asked the athletes for forgiveness because Russian authorities "were unable to protect" them.

The IOC warned that "this may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping", saying it was considering an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

China has chose to send a 186-member delegation, including 82 athletes, to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics this month. "Therefore, the International Olympic Committee will analyse the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal". "That's why we can not fully understand why the other 11 athletes have not been fully vindicated".

But for Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, CAS's ruling proved Moscow never orchestrated a state-sponsored doping programme.

"I can say without a doubt, the integrity of sport is on the line", Uhlaender said from South Korea shortly after the CAS decision was posted.

"It is a hard question", the Kremlin spokesman added, noting Russian officials would continue talking to the International Olympic Committee.

Chudinov was fifth in the men's skeleton in Sochi and later became a coach for the Russian national skeleton team.

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