January 8, 2020 / 2:28 PM / 9 days ago

IOC to discuss Tokyo 2020 Russian athletes after CAS decision

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee will not discuss the details of Russian athletes’ participation at the Tokyo 2020 Games until after a final ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the IOC said on Wednesday.

Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games torchbearer Christelle Boivin passes the flame to Aurore Locher at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in December banned the country’s colours and anthem from events, including the Olympics, for four years as punishment for having provided it with doctored laboratory data.

It also barred Russia from hosting or bidding for major sporting events during that period, with the country’s top officials branding the sanctions unfair and pledging to appeal the decision to CAS by early January.

The IOC did not go into the details of Russia’s Tokyo 2020 appearance during Wednesday’s Executive Board meeting.

“It was informational only,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters of the discussions regarding Russia. “We will wait for a decision by CAS before doing that.”

No date has yet been set for a CAS ruling on Russia.

Among the details to be finalised are the size and overall appearance and uniforms for the independent team made up of Russian athletes who are eligible to compete based on their anti-doping record as well as the sports they will compete in.

World Athletics last year extended its 2015 ban on Russia’s athletics federation.

The IOC, however, has said in recent months it was eager to finalise al the details early to avoid a repeat of the run-up to the 2016 Olympics where Russians were filing appeals days before they were due to compete at the Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics.

Russia, which has traditionally been a powerhouse in many sports, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 WADA report found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

Many of Russia’s athletes were sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris

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