Bach criticises CAS and calls for urgent reforms after decision to clear Russian athletes


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach claimed here today that there is an “urgent need” to reform the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following its “disappointing and surprising” decision last week to overturn its sanctions against 28 Russian athletes.

All but 11 of those sanctioned by the IOC for involvement in a “systemic manipulation” of the doping system at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi four years ago but had their appeals upheld by CAS last week.

Striking a tone which bore similarities with his criticisms of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016, Bach claimed that the IOC Executive Board is “not satisfied at all” with either the CAS decision or the way it has been announced.

He also revealed that they are still considering an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

“The decision is disappointing and surprising and we would never have expected this,” Bach said here following the end of a two-day IOC Executive Board meeting.

“Unfortunately, we only know reasons from a very few sentences in press release.

“We are eagerly waiting for this and have asked CAS to speed-up this procedure.

“We have been told that it will be completed by the end of February, which is an extremely unsatisfactory situation.

“In this respect, the IOC Executive Board is not satisfied at all with the approach by CAS.”

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