State Duma Decries Court Ruling Banning Russians

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The lower house of Russian parliament has issued a statement protesting a court’s decision barring 45 banned athletes from the Pyeongchang Olympics just hours before the opening ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee had banned Russia over a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games but allowed 168 Russian athletes to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Dozens more filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport that ruled Friday to uphold the IOC’s right to decide who can compete.

The lower house, the State Duma, responded with a statement deploring the court’s verdict as a reflection of “crude pressure and political struggle in a sports field defying Olympic principles.”

The lawmakers say, “Double standards in the sports sphere hurt the international Olympic movement.”

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