Record-setting speedskater among Russians banned by International Olympic Committee from PyeongChang Olympics

5 Russian Olympic medal contenders who might be barred from 2018 Games


Russia's biathlete Anton Shipulin, short-track speed-skater Victor An and cross-country skier Sergey Ustyugov are now not included in the list of potential participants of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) First Vice President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said Tuesday.

"Athletes like Viktor Ahn, Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov were not involved in the Oswald commission proceedings", Pozdnyakov said. "Regardless, their names are now missing from the list of potential participants in the games".

Russian Federation has been banned from competing at the Games in South Korea by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC told the AP that it would not comment on individual cases.

Russian Federation says it seeking clarification from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after what President Vladimir Putin's spokesman called "deplorable" indications that six-time Olympic gold medalist Viktor Ahn and other prominent athletes Moscow claims are clean have been barred from competing in the Winter Olympics in February.

"It is clear that we do not really have time to do anything before the Olympics, but we intend to continue the fight to clear the names of our athletes", he added.

President of the Russian Skating Union Alexei Kravtsov said he was "outraged by the unjust decision" to bar top athletes.

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It left the door open for Russian athletes with a clean doping history to be invited to compete as neutrals under an Olympic flag, however.

They include world champions Pavel Kulizhnikov and Denis Yuskov, both of whom have previously served bans for failed doping tests, as well as Ruslan Zakharov, who won an Olympic relay gold medal in short-track speedskating in Sochi in 2014.

Russian athletes must be vetted by an International Olympic Committee commission, which will examine their history of drug testing and links to past doping, before they are invited to the games.

Last week the International Olympic Committee said the pool of Russians who could potentially be eligible for the 2018 Games had been reduced from 500 to 389. Russian officials have expressed hope they could field a team of 200 athletes.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had seen the "sad" media reports that An, Ustyugov and Shipulin had been banned.

"The unfounded and absurd decision once again demonstrates the IOC's inability to eschew external influences on its decision-making", the federation said in a statement.

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