Russian delegation to receive Schmid report minutes before addressing IOC meeting
The Russian delegation attending the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting in Switzerland will be given the Schmid report on alleged systemic doping in the country just 20 minutes before presenting their case before the IOC members.
The IOC will deliver its verdict on Russia’s participation at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics on Tuesday at 7pm local time, after analyzing the findings of the IOC-sanctioned Disciplinary Commission chaired by former Swiss President Samuel Schmid. The panel was tasked with examining evidence of Russian officials’ involvement in an alleged state-sponsored doping program.
The Russian Olympic Committee hopes that two-time world-title holder in figure skating Evgenia Medvedeva, who was included into the Russian delegation, will address the IOC before the decision announcement.
The 18-year-old skater, who hasn’t lost a competition since November 2015 and is considered the one of the favorites to win the upcoming Winter Games, is expected to plead with the IOC to allow clean Russian athletes to compete in PyeongChang.
In an attempt to find a compromise in a complicated doping-riddled situation surrounding the Russian national team, the IOC will weigh several options to discipline those who violated anti-doping rules and at the same time to allow athletes with clean doping history unaffected by sanctions.
The highly discussed measure that might be imposed on the Russian team would allow the country’s athletes to take part in the games under a neutral flag. Earlier suggestions to perform at the Olympics without a national flag were met with criticism from Russian sports officials, including the incumbent sports minister Pavel Kolobkov.
On Monday, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is not considering boycotting Olympic Games, referring to media speculations that Russia might retaliate over IOC’s decision to ban national emblems by keeping an entire team out of the Games.
Earlier, insidethegames reported that the Olympics governing body has already contacted its official sports uniform designer Nike to prepare a neutral kit for Russian athletes who are expected to compete under the Olympic flag in PyeongChang.
A total of 25 Russian athletes who participated in the 2014 Sochi Olympics have been banned for life from the Winter Olympics and had their Sochi results wiped out as part of the ongoing investigations by the Oswald and Schmid Commissions. IOC Member Denis Oswald is heading up a probe into accusations of Russian doping in Sochi.