IOC to bar Olympic Athletes of Russia from celebrating with Russian flag

Associated Press on Dec. 5 2017 International Olympic Committee Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett speaks during a press conference in Lausanne Switzerland

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place Friday.

The US Olympic Committee said it was predetermined that a coin toss would be used in the case of a tie and if the athletes could not find a way to choose a clear victor. The athletes are challenging the IOC's refusal to invite them to participate in the Winter Games in PyeongChang this month. The IOC had said it wouldn't invite athletes previously banned for doping.

They include Pavel Kulizhinikov, a former world champion in short-track speedskating who was banned from 2012 through 2014 after testing positive for the banned substance methylhexanamine.

In December, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from competing at the PyeongChang Olympics following two separate investigations - one concerning alleged doping violations by individual Russian athletes, and the other alleging the existence of a state-sponsored doping system in Russia. Also among the six is speedskater Denis Yuskov, who served a ban for marijuana, and the biathletes Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov, who returned in 2016 from bans for the blood-booster EPO.

Russian officials and athletes have indicated that not all of those who have filed appeals plan to compete if they win. If they win medals, they'll stand under the Olympic flag while the Olympic anthem plays.

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

The 168-person not-quite-Russian team is still one of the largest in Pyeongchang. If they win, it would force the International Olympic Committee to accept athletes it considers to be linked to doping offenses.

Six other Russian athletes' appeals were thrown out.

In its February 1 decision, CAS unanimously ruled there was not enough evidence against the 28 Russian athletes to conclude they had committed any anti-doping rule violations.

"The panel's decisions are expected to be announced either late in the evening of 8 February 2018 or in the morning of 9 February 2018", Cas said. They are requesting that the CAS overturn the IOC's decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic athletes from Russian Federation. Prominent Russian skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin as well as Olympic champion skeleton racer Aleksandr Tretiakov were among the applicants in the second case.

The court didn't say how quickly it will issue decisions.

Kerimov also said that conditions would be equal for all athletes, despite the International Olympic Committee's ruling on the neutral status for the Russian Olympic team.

Late invitations could result in other Russian athletes being cut, especially in sports such as hockey where a full roster is already registered.

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