Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bach defends Russia doping response as legal bids hit Games



Bach defends Russia doping response as legal bids hit Games

Bach defends Russia doping response as legal bids hit Games

Olympics chief Thomas Bach defended his handling of the Russian doping scandal today as legal bids by 47 Russians to join the Pyeongchang Winter Games looked set to go down to the wire.

Bach refused to be drawn on the cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has already lifted life bans imposed on 28 Russians by the International Olympic Committee.

Fifteen of the Russians are appealing against the IOC’s decision to refuse them invitations for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which will start with a gala opening ceremony on Friday.

Another 32, including Korean-born speed skater Victor An, launched a similar appeal on Tuesday. The cases have been adjourned until Thursday.

After revelations of a state-sponsored doping conspiracy, the IOC suspended Russia in December but allowed a large group of “clean” Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag.

The late wrangling to join this group has proved a distraction before Pyeongchang and echoes the confusion at Rio 2016, when the IOC stopped short of banning Russia and instead let sports federations decide whether to admit Russian athletes.

Bach, asked whether he had presided over a “fiasco”, said this week’s IOC session had overwhelmingly backed a vote of confidence in the handling of the crisis.

“This was a very clear message after all the arguments had been addressed,” said Bach, adding that the “timing (of Russia’s suspension) was not in our hands”.

“Studies had to be done . . . evidence had to be provided and fair hearings for Russian athletes had to be offered,” he said, describing the work of the IOC’s disciplinary commission.

Former world anti-doping president Dick Pound on Tuesday slammed the IOC’s response to Russia, insisting the body’s credibility had been badly affected. Along with Britain’s Adam Pengilly, he was the only delegate to abstain from the vote of confidence.

The ongoing fall-out of the Russia doping scandal, which culminated as it hosted the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, has overshadowed other aspects of Pyeongchang, including the participation of North Korea.

Bach, who was an Olympic fencer for West Germany in the 1970s, before reunification with East Germany, said it would be poignant when the two Koreas march together at the opening ceremony.

“For sure this joint march will be the most emotional moment,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)