A moral victory – Russia reinstated as medal leader for Sochi Olympics


February 4 , 2018 – FRN – 

Vesti – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

A very important moral victory for Russia – the international sports arbitration in Lausanne recognized that the lifetime ban of 39 Russian Olympians was incorrect. 

Each case was considered individually, the lawsuit in Switzerland was controversial – involving both the athletes themselves and their lawyers, and prosecutors on the part of the IOC. Personally, even McLaren and Rodchenkov were heard, the very Rodchenkov whom Putin called an “asshole.”

In the overwhelming majority of cases, their arguments were found to be inconclusive. In our opinion, it’s simple slander.

The crucial point: the unanimous decision of the court ruled that 28 Russian Olympians are obliged to get their Sochi medals back. Thus, Russia also regains its leadership in the Sochi Olympics in the medal standings.

Based on the judicial decision, the Russian Olympic Committee submitted a request to the IOC to participate in the South Korean Games, because without the invitation of the IOC, they can not go even after the court’s decision.

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In South Korea, the president of the International Olympic Committee, German Thomas Bach, stated: “This decision of the Sports Arbitration Court was extremely disappointing and at the same time surprised the IOC, we did not expect this,” he said. 

Bach in simple terms, called for the reform of the Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne, because the quality of its verdicts does not suit the IOC, especially with regard to Russian athletes. He also said: “As for Russian athletes, we made it clear enough that lifting the sanctions by the Arbitration Court does not mean that the athlete receives an invitation from the IOC automatically. The invitation is the privilege of clean Russian athletes. “

It is clear that in Moscow these positions provoked outrage. Valentina Matvienko, the head of the Federation Council,  stated: “Any democratic system assumes an independent judiciary system. Of course, if any structure wants to be considered democratic, then it must strictly follow the decisions of independent judiciary. 

If it is necessary to reform the Sports Arbitration Court,  after the IOC did not approve of its decision, then it is quite natural to think about reforming both WADA and the IOC, for failing to act within the framework of democratic procedures. This is a clear sign of the degeneration of the original meaning of the Olympic movement, the Olympic spirit.” 

“There is another, in my opinion, most serious problem. They have commercialized international sports, the Olympic movement. In a sense, they turned it into a business, they put the focus not on the athletes, but on profit. Is this moral? Maybe it’s worth looking into the Olympic Charter? I will definitely discuss these issues with colleagues, heads of parliaments of other countries and on international parliamentary platforms.”

As for the decision of the independent court, we do not know these people in the Sports Arbitration Court, but I believe that we should be grateful that, despite the pressure, they found the courage to be guided in their decision by objective data and principles. I am absolutely sure that the principles of the Olympic movement, laid out by Pierre de Coubertin, are alive and ultimately will win.”

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