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Top Russian Athletes Banned From Olympics - No Reasons Given (Russian TV News)

Disgraceful behavior by American officials

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Some of Russia's best athletes have been blocked from performing at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Pyonchang.

While no evidence has been uncovered of any wrong doing, key players are sacked without explanation, even when test results are clean.

Not only is their performance in the upcoming games under fire, they are also being stripped of medals that they've won in previous matches. The following clip taken from Russian nightly news (with transcript below) has the details.


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Without explanation, the International Olympic Committee deprives the Russian team of key sportsmen at the Games in Pyeongchang. Today, just 15 days before the start of the Olympics, those who’ve never been involved in any doping stories are erased from the list, but they could have fought for medals even under a neutral flag. A serious blow has been inflicted on the hockey team, biathlonists, sleigh riders, skiers, skaters, and figure skaters, who are, by the way, the medal winners of the just-concluded European Championship. The Russian Olympic Committee is seeking at least some explanation.

Asya Yemelyanova is reporting from Switzerland.

“One question from a state's channel, how are you feeling? You perfectly understand what the sportsmen are talking about.”

Not only judge Gastlinger, who speaks Russian excellently, but everyone at these hearings is well aware of what our athletes are talking about. About the disqualification. Never.

Elena Nikitina, skeleton, a bronze medal in Sochi. During the proceedings in November, she was grilled for several hours through a video call. McLaren personally, the author of the scandalous report on doping in Russia, smiled at her and said there were no complaints. The tests were fine, there were no scratches on the test tubes. Feeling happy, Elena even won the World Cup stage, and in the morning, a press release on disqualification appeared on the website.

- They said, there were no complaints, everything was fine, but then disqualified you. Don't you think that it'll be the same here?

Elena Nikitina, two-time European champion in skeleton.

"For some reason, I don't. It's a court and it must consider all factors and evidence, which there is none."


- Which evidence do you have?


"On the contrary, I only have my honest words and proof, and the prosecution has no evidence against us."


There’s no evidence, and this is about almost each of the 39 athletes, whose disqualifications are being disputed in Geneva. Nikolai Chudinov and Tatiana Ivanova are here today. They were deprived of the medals and the chance to go to the Olympics only because they were mentioned by the Anti-Doping Laboratory ex-head, Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the States and who was called through Skype on the eve for the testimony. Olga Fatkulina was satisfied the most. She had long wanted to hear the man she had never seen in her life. Rodchenkov doesn’t know her either, but he was at the competitions, and then wrote in his diary that Fatkulina’s cheeks were too puffy, and this meant that she was taking the growth hormone.

Olga Fatkulina, World Skating Champion:

"We did a good job, our lawyers complimented us."


Even when Rodchenkov was talking?


"We thanked them for a chance to hear him."


Indeed, they could only hear Rodchenkov in Geneva. When he was speaking, his face was closed with something. Rodchenkov continues to cooperate with WADA, and they might have changed his appearance.

The Luge Federation President went to Geneva to compete for lugers Demchenko and Ivanova, but it turned out that the worst news came to Moscow. The lists of athletes erased by the IOC Commission.


Have you seen those list? Were you informed?

Nataliya Gart, the Russian Luge Federation President:

- No, I wasn't, as we're in Geneva, and it's all happening in Moscow.


Victoria Demchenko, the strongest among our female lugers, wasn’t invited to Korea. Anton Shipulin, our hope for medals in biathlon, was also erased. His wife couldn’t even pick up the right words on Instagram. French journalists called the decision unacceptable. How can the Games be held without the strongest one?

Konstantin Boytsov, the Russian Biathlon Union Press Service Head:

"In such a situation, we can only get ready better. But they are human beings, they don't live in vacuum and receive information. This can't have a positive effect on their physical and mental state."


Victor An is a six-time Olympic champion. If he doesn't go, the other three short-trackers won’t go either because three people can’t run a relay.

Alexei Kravtsov, the Russian Skating Union President:

"This is a unique athlete who has never been involved in anything, never had any violations. He's never been in any reports or lists. He’s a man of the hardest, but brightest fate. Nevertheless, we were informed that he wouldn't be invited."


The commission also touched our hockey. The list excludes Anton Belov, Sergei Plotnikov, the basis of our defense in the Games.


"We count on your support."


This is the only thing that the head coach decides to ask for in such a situation.

Oleg Znarok, Russian Hockey Team Coach:

"It's a difficult period for us. We'll go through a serious preparation. Thank you, we count on your support."

Dmitry Guberniev, sports commentator:

"Obviously, this was planned, and this isn’t a fight against doping in Russia, but against Russia. They waited for the moment when the schedule is ready, and nothing can be won or reviewed in the sports court. They only took the leaders who could have won medals."


The most mysterious of all seems the decision not to allow figure skaters Ksenia Stolbova and Ivan Bukin to the Olympics. In one blow, the IOC deprived us of potential gold and silver medals, because Stolbova and Bukin are in different pairs. The Federation is trying to get explanations from the IOC, as neither Stolbova nor Bukin competed in Sochi and were involved in the doping scandals.

Alexander Kogan, the Figure Skating Federation Head:

"We lose two members of the main team. For us, this is a shock, as for other people, including the sportsmen. We don’t understand why these athletes aren’t invited."


Losing Sergey Ustiugov also means losing two or three guaranteed medals. Two-time world champion in 2017, he’s in magnificent shape.

Oleg Perevozchikov, Russian Ski Team Coach:

"We can't understand what he's accused of, there are no arguments. We don't see any violations either."

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the Russian Olympic Committee First Vice-President:

"In any case, although this decision of the IOC is preliminary, we don’t accept it. We're sure we can prove we're right."


We strongly disagree with the IOC’s decision. This is the reaction of the Russian Olympic Committee. The Russian Olympic Committee is preparing to send its lists to Geneva once again, putting our strongest athletes back.

No one knows what will happen next because the Olympic movement history has never known such precedents. The Federation will fight for each name. But there is practically no time left for it. Much was unclear even about these hearings in Geneva. If the Arbitration Court repeals the disqualification and gives the Sochi medals back, this doesn’t guarantee the trip to Pyeongchang. It’s unlikely that the IOC agrees to review the lists several days before the Olympics.

Asya Emelyanova, Ivan Malyshev, Vesti, Geneva.

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