Sports Russian athletes confront their country’s Olympic ban: ‘I want to compete.’

05:21  06 december  2017
05:21  06 december  2017 Source:   The Washington Post

Kremlin to analyze IOC ban before taking any steps

  Kremlin to analyze IOC ban before taking any steps The Kremlin needs to analyze the International Olympic Committee’s ruling to bar Russia and its sports officials from the upcoming Pyeongchang Games before making any decisions regarding the country’s participation, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. Dmitry Peskov said “we need to put emotions aside” and “make a serious analysis” of the ruling before taking any steps. Peskov also said Russia “still needs to answer some questions” from the IOC.

Meet the Russian Athletes Whose Dreams Were Crushed By the Olympic Ban . A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin referred to her as “Judas” for betraying the country . Her fellow athletes tend to agree, especially as she is likely to compete in the Rio Games not under the Russian tricolor but the

" I want to compete ," said Avtaneev, who' s trying for his second Olympics in the men' s halfpipe. " I will stick the sticker on my helmet that I 'm Russian ." As the Winter Olympics host nation four years ago, Russia was able to compete in all 15 sports, sending more than 230 athletes to Sochi.

a man flying through the air while riding skis: Snowboarder Nikita Avtaneev of Russia competing in the qualification heats at the Sochi Olympics.© Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Snowboarder Nikita Avtaneev of Russia competing in the qualification heats at the Sochi Olympics.

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. — Nikita Avtaneev was strapped into his snowboard, twirling through the thin, crisp air on Tuesday, while his Olympic fate was being announced halfway around the world. It wasn't until the end of the snowboarder's training run that he received the news issued by the International Olympic Committee: Russia, Avtaneev's home country, will not be able to compete in the Winter Games in South Korea in February due to widespread doping violations.

The Olympic world immediately began processing the ramifications of the IOC's unprecedented decision, calculating what the news means to the competition in PyeongChang this winter and to the dreams of athletes who have spent years in training.

How IOC’s decision could impact Team Canada and Olympic hockey

  How IOC’s decision could impact Team Canada and Olympic hockey What the IOC’s decision to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from the 2018 Winter Games will to do the hockey tournaments remains to be seen, but the ramifications could stretch well beyond Russia’s borders.Will Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and the rest of the Russian hockey team consent to pulling on a sweater featuring the Olympic rings rather than one of their own? Will they even be allowed to?

Athletes from other countries have the opportunity to practice [and] set world records, but I can’t do it simply because “If they really want to clamp down on doping, they need to open their eyes and look in other directions too. ‘Blatant injustice:’ Russian two-time Olympic champion criticizes IAAF ban .

“ I want to compete ,” said Avtaneev, who’ s trying for his second Olympics in the men’ s halfpipe. “ I will stick the sticker on my helmet that I ’m Russian .” As the Winter Olympics host nation four years ago, Russia was able to compete in all 15 sports, sending more than 230 athletes to Sochi.

Avtaneev, 22, is one of dozens of Russian athletes who hopes he can take advantage of an exemption allowed by the IOC that permits Olympic hopefuls to compete if they can prove they're clear. They'd be designated by the IOC as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and would participate in the Olympics with no national anthem, flag or team uniform.

"I want to compete," said Avtaneev, who's trying for his second Olympics in the men's halfpipe. "I will stick the sticker on my helmet that I'm Russian."

Avtaneev is in Copper Mountain this week, competing in a Grand Prix event that serves as a qualifier for the Olympics. Regardless of how he does here, he'll still need to navigate a separate qualification process to get to PyeongChang — an IOC panel that will review all Russian competitors to determine whether they have been disqualified for past doping violations and whether they have completed all pre-Olympics drug testing.

Team Canada GM: Many nations have chance for Olympic hockey success

  Team Canada GM: Many nations have chance for Olympic hockey success The playing field has been somewhat levelled with no NHL participation in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament, says Team Canada general manager Sean Burke. “What really makes this Olympics interesting is that a lot of countries who didn’t consider themselves medal contenders or gold-medal contenders, especially if the NHL was to go, are now looking at this as an opportunity,” Burke said Tuesday on Sportsnet 650’s On Point. The NHL announced earlier this year that its players would not participate in the 2018 Games, ending a run of five consecutive Winter Olympics featuring the league’s players.

IOC president Thomas Bach indicated Russian athletes could still compete in Rio despite the IAAF ban . The IOC added the lack of trusted doping controls meant it wanted each sport' s governing body to vet their athletes .

What term do you want to search? I don’t feel sorry for the 68 athletes who appealed against the IAAF ban from the Rio Olympics ; I pity all those competitors who were cheated out of success. The Russian and Olympic flags. ‘ Russian athletes should be directing their anger towards their own

The IOC's decision has implications for virtually every sport, barring some formidable medal contenders from competing and insuring that some who do reach the podium might have to contend with an asterisk next to their name because of a diminished field. As the Winter Olympics host nation four years ago, Russia was able to compete in all 15 sports, sending more than 230 athletes to Sochi.

While Russia was initially credited with 33 medals in Sochi, the country's medal count has been reduced to 22 due to disqualifications related to doping. That number could drop further. Nearly half the Sochi medalists from Russia have been implicated in the doping scheme, and two dozen athletes are currently in the midst of disciplinary proceedings.

Even before Tuesday's IOC announcement, some of Russia's top competitors had already been barred from competing in PyeongChang, including cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who was stripped of two Sochi medals, skeleton slider Aleksandr Tretyakov, who lost his gold medal from Sochi, and speed skater Olga Fatkulina, who had her silver medal from Sochi stripped.

Why Russia should be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics

  Why Russia should be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics In an open letter to IOC president Thomas Bach, Winter Olympic medallist Deidra Dionne argues that Russia must receive the strongest possible punishment for its doping violations. Dear Mr. Bach, You probably don't remember, but I wrote an open letter to you a few years back, voicing my concern about the Olympic movement. Here I am again, trying to persuade you to listen.

The Daily Mail, for example, ran with the premature headline: “ENTIRE Russian team of 387 athletes will be banned from competing at the Rio Olympics as punishment for their country ’ s state-sponsored doping program.”

Punished: Russian athletes have been banned from competition by the IAAF - for the time being at least Photo: EPA. “Those who are guilty will pay their price, and those who are innocent will have the opportunity to compete and represent our country in a dignified manner at all international sports

Some sports will surely notice the absence of a Russian team than others. Tuesday's decision had a big impact on sliding sports, such as bobsled, skeleton and luge; Nordic sports, including cross-country skiing and biathlon; and potentially figure skating, where Russia is a traditional podium threat.

In skeleton for instance, Russian sent six athletes to Sochi. Five have since been disqualified and two Russian medals were vacated.

"I'd be lying if I said I had a lot of optimism that they were going to come down with a harsh penalty," said American slider Matt Antoine, who won a bronze medal in 2014. "I'm extremely pleased to see them make the hard decision — and the right decision — to protect the integrity of the Games. Their entire reputation was really on the line. In the end, they did the right thing."

At the Sochi Games, Russia won five figure skating medals, including three golds, and at this year's world championships, Evgenia Medvedeva won the women's championship, while Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took bronze in pairs. Medvedeva was only 14 years old during the Sochi Games and has faced no accusations of wrongdoing, which could make her a likely candidate for an IOC exemption. But Medvedeva told the IOC executive committee Tuesday that she could not yet commit to participating as a neutral athlete.

Sochi investigator says Russian denials risk tougher penalty

  Sochi investigator says Russian denials risk tougher penalty Russian sports officials risk talking themselves into a tougher punishment for the country’s Olympic team, according to the investigator who detailed an orchestrated doping program. Richard McLaren’s work verifying allegations of systematic cheating by Russia at the 2014 Sochi Games has been vindicated this month by an International Olympic Committee panel that so far has found 22 winter sports athletes guilty. However, Russian officials continue to deny that state agencies organized the doping. They have tried to shift blame onto other international sports bodies, including the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

This text will be replaced. Three on three basketballYouth Olympics Athlete Role Model Andrew Gaze

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the appeal of 68 Russian athletes over their ban from next month’ s Olympics . What term do you want to search? Russian appeal against Olympic athletics ban dismissed by Cas.

"I always believed that the opportunity to participate in the Olympics should be fought on the ice," she said. "Unfortunately, now I understand that I may lose that chance because of a situation that doesn't depend on me . . . . I'm proud of my country. I have tremendous pride to represent it at the Games."

Avtaneev felt similarly, that Tuesday's decision effectively punishes many Russian athletes who've done nothing wrong. "No, it's not right," he said. "Those who are not clear with the doping, it's their problem, so they should answer for themselves."

Russia also won five Sochi medals in short-track speedskating, four of which came from Viktor Ahn, one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair skates. Ahn was born in Seoul and competed for South Korea in the 2006 Olympics before obtaining Russian citizenship and skating for his adopted homeland in Sochi, where he won three gold medals and one bronze.

Ahn's return to Korean soil and a chance to cap his career in his native country promises to be one of these Olympics' biggest story lines if he is granted neutral competitor status, which seems likely. He'd previously said he intended to retire following the PyeongChang Games.

The decision casts an even darker cloud over the men's hockey tournament. Already NHL players are barred from competing and without Russia in the mix, it's likely that players from the Moscow-based Kontinental Hockey League — widely considered the world's second-best — won't be allowed to compete, furthering watering down the competitive pool.

IAAF leaves Russian track and field ban in place

  IAAF leaves Russian track and field ban in place Russia's ban from international track and field was extended Sunday by the IAAF as key Russian sports and political figures continue to deny operating any doping system. Track's world governing body unanimously accepted a recommendation from its Russia taskforce not to reinstate Russia. That is a blow to Russia's chances of competing under its own flag at March's world indoor championships in the British city of Birmingham.

IOC president Thomas Bach indicated Russian athletes could still compete in Rio despite the IAAF ban . The IOC added the lack of trusted doping controls meant it wanted each sport' s governing body to vet their athletes .

The IAAF, world track and field’ s governing body, voted unanimously Friday to uphold its provisional ban on Russian athletes . Unless something extraordinary happens in the next six weeks, Russian runners, throwers, and jumpers won’t be competing in the Olympics .

Tuesday's news was mostly well-received from the administrators, coaches and athletes who compete under the Team USA banner. Tiger Shaw, CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said the decision "demonstrates a strong commitment to the importance of clean sport."

"Now we look to the International Ski Federation [FIS] to hold a FIS Council meeting to review the IOC's decision and related evidence to consider its impact on the Russian Ski Association, its FIS committee members, officials and athletes," he said in a statement.

Hayley Wickenheiser, a six-time Olympian from Canada and a member of the IOC's Athletes' Commission, says the burden now falls on the international federations for each sport as well as the IOC's review panel to insure that the Russians who do get to compete in PyeongChang are indeed clean.

"It is not lost on many clean athletes that Russian athletes who were part of this system may have had no choice but to comply," she said in a statement.

3 more Russian bobsledders banned from Olympics .
Three more Russian bobsledders have been disqualified from the 2014 Olympics for doping. Alexander Kasyanov, Alexei Pushkarev and Ilyir Khuzin were banned based on evidence that Russia operated a doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games. The Russian teammates finished fourth in the four-man bobsled but had been due to move up to the bronze when the original gold medal-winning Russian sled was disqualified, also for doping offences.

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