Russian athletes quit meeting just as drug testers arrive

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In a translation from Russia's state-run Tass news agency, Russian Athletics Federation President Dmitry Shlyakhtin said he wasn't surprised at the sudden exodus of would-be competitors.

He said: "Our suspicions that the doping situation is not successful in all regions has increased even more but I can not say that the athletes have withdrawn from the competition because they used illegal drugs until the relevant documents have been received".

All but one of the 43 Russians who were banned by the International Olympic Committee disciplinary commission following doping violations at the last Winter Olympics, in Sochi 2014, appealed to the CAS and 39 cases will be heard next week in Geneva.

Russian athletes have been targeted in anti-doping testing ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the International Olympic Committee announced on Thursday.

Only Russian athletes with a clean history will be able to compete in Pyeongchang, under the Olympic flag and as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia".

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Great Britain's four-man bobsleigh team will also learn whether they are to receive a retrospective Olympic bronze medal from Sochi 2014 when Cas makes its ruling. "Athletes going to the Olympics in South Korea will be supplied with the Olympic apparel between January 22 and February 7".

"Protecting clean athletes by fighting doping is a top priority for the IOC", said the Olympic body's medical and scientific director Richard Budgett in a press release.

The IOC also prohibited any resemblance of the Russian national flag on uniforms stating that "Only single or dual color elements are permitted on uniforms" and "separate items of clothing can not create a tricolor". The IOC has an invitation-only process for Russian athletes with the aim of cutting out those who it believes were part of organized doping programs or cover-ups at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In line with IOC's list of requirements for the Russian Olympic team's outfit, "Athletes" uniforms (ceremonies, competition, training and casual), accessories and equipment can only have two types of wordmarks: "OAR" and/or "Olympic Athlete from Russia", while officials accompanying them "can only have one type of wordmark: "OAR'".

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