Russia plans alternative to Olympics in March
Russia will host an alternative to the Olympics in March for its athletes not allowed to compete in this month’s Winter Games, Deputy Prime Minister, Vitaly Mutko, said on Thursday.
Russia’s team has been suspended from the Olympics starting on Friday in Pyeongchang over allegations of widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The allegations had specifically been about Russia’s participation at the previous Winter Games which it hosted in Sochi in 2014.
Russians who have proved to the International Olympic Committee that they are clean have been invited to the Games as neutrals.
Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport will announce on Friday its decision on the appeals of 47 Russians against their exclusion.
Now Mutko, according to local media, says the alternative event will include sports the Russian athletes have so far been rejected from, such as cross-country skiing, speed skating and bobsledding.
“The Russian Sports Ministry will finish working out the alternative tournament’s schedule and announce it together with the country’s sports federations.
“Foreign athletes will be invited, and there will be a prize fund,’’ Mutko noted, adding that the event could take place in several cities.