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Russia biathlon coach criticises IOC and IBU over Olympic nomination

Europe, Europa
19.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Anterselva, Italy (dpa) - Russian biathlon team coach Ricco Gross, in an interview published Friday, has criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and his sport‘s ruling body IBU over their dealing with his athletes in the run-up to next month‘s Olympics.

Gross told the Tagesspiegel daily in his native Germany he was yet to learn who from his athletes will be eligible to compete at the February 9-25 Games in South Korea‘s Pyeongchang.

The IOC is only allowing clean Russians to compete, as neutral athletes, at the Games in the wake of doping practices 2014 in Sochi.

Alexander Loginov is not eligible because of a past doping ban but Gross said he believes all others should be allowed to go - and that the IOC and IBU should tell them.

"They still don‘t know what is happening. You don‘t get a clear answer when you approach the IOC. You don‘t get a clear answer from the IBU when you you approach them on who is eligible and who not," Gross said.

"This is incriminating and a little unfair towards the athletes not to tell them the truth."

Gross, who took over the Russian team in 2015, said it would be hard for his athletes to compete as neutrals without their national colours and flag.

He also criticised that fellow-German Wolfgang Pichler would not be allowed to Pyeongchang in his capacity as Sweden coach because he was in charge of the Russian team in 2014. Pichler has said he was not aware of the doping practices and has for years been a staunch advocate of clean sport.

"It is incomprehensible. To me this looks a lot like arbitrariness," Gross said.

 

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