International Olympic Committee 'not humiliating Russia': Bach


Stars like the biathlete Anton Shipulin, the figure skater Ksenia Stolbova and the speed skater Viktor Ahn, all gold medalists in the games in the Russian city four years ago, will not be able to participate in the imminent contest of the South Korean city.

But it said that some Russians would be allowed to compete as neutral athletes provided they meet certain guidelines on doping.

"If an athlete is not on the list then the independent panel has serious indications by different sources and by different means".

"There could be suspicion, there could be maybe even an ongoing procedure, there could be many factors which did not lead to the satisfaction of the panel", he further said. "169 - this is the official list and the athletes will decide themselves if they will travel (to South Korea) or not".

Kolobkov added that Russia may organise alternative sports competitions for Russian athletes barred from the Games.

Russians who want to compete in South Korea next month have to clear rigorous and extraordinary scrutiny by the International Olympic Committee review panel.

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Russian Olympic Committee vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov on Tuesday blasted the IOC's decision to exclude An, Shipulin and Ustyugov.

He said that "multiple samples taken throughout their careers" had shown that the three were "clean athletes". National Russian symbols and emblems were also prohibited during the Games under the ban.

That decision prompted Russian figure skating union chief Alexei Kravtsov to brand the International Olympic Committee "a tyrant".

Asked whether the Kremlin might consider a boycott in light of the new restrictions, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said "right now it is important to avoid words like 'boycott'".

Bach insisted that the stringent measures put in place to keep Russian dopers away from the Games were in everyone's best interest.

It will be the fifth Olympics for both Datsyuk and Kovalchuk, this time playing for a team dressed in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag because of sanctions against Russian Federation for what the IOC says was state-sponsored doping at past Games.