In December, the IOC banned Russia from participating in Pyeongchang but earlier this week, 169 Russians had been granted special dispensation from the organizing body to compete as “Olympic athletes from Russia.” Now it’s facing an unprecedented complication. Should any of the unbanned athletes apply for entry into the Games, the IOC will have to make a last-minute ruling on athletes it had previously deemed cheaters. And it doesn’t seem to be siding with the appeals court just yet. “The result of the . decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games,” the IOC said in a statement. “Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.” Maybe a third, more convoluted category for those athletes participating in Pyeongchang will remedy the situation.
Ever since the beginning of the Russian Olympic Doping Scandal in the autumn of 2015, and especially since the publication of the first of Professor McLaren’s two reports on the even of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I have been saying that the burden of proof was being reversed, and that instead of those who were accusing Russian athletes of doping offences being asked to prove their case, it was the Russian athletes who were being required to prove their innocence. This for example is what I wrote on 18th July 2016, shortly before the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio