BERN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that 169 Russian athletes have been cleared to compete at next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
The IOC banned Russia last month from Pyeongchang over “systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system at the 2014 Sochi Games. It left the door open to athletes with no history of doping to compete as neutrals, officially known as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.
The Olympic body this week said the exclusion of certain athletes from the list of eligible Russians did not necessarily mean they had doped.
“Following a detailed and comprehensive invitation process, the IOC confirmed today invitations to 169 athletes who can compete as “Olympic Athlete from Russia”,” the IOC said on Saturday.
“They were chosen from the pool of 389 athletes who could potentially be invited to the Games depending on available quota places.”
The IOC’s statement confirmed an announcement by Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee, on Thursday.
He said 169 athletes had been cleared, adding that the top athletes “did not make it on to this list”.
Russia has repeatedly denied any state involvement in doping.
Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond