MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) Athletes Commission has drafted an appeal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach with a request to review the decision on the Russian national team's participation in the 2018 Olympic Games without the national anthem and flag, the commission's chief, Olympic fencing champion Sofya Velikaya, said Monday.
"The commission prepared a statement from athletes stating their willingness to participate in the Olympic Games. We will submit it to the Olympic assembly for consideration," Velikaya said, adding that she had asked the Russian public "to treat athletes' decisions with understanding and respect. Whether the athlete will carry the flag or not, everyone will know that this is an athlete from Russia."
According to the officials, the Athletes Commission would also ask the IOC to review the decision on suspending life-time bans from the Olympic Games.
The CAS has registered the Russian athletes' appeals against the decisions, taken by the IOC Disciplinary Commission (IOC DC) chaired by Denis Oswald, according to the statement. A CAS arbitration procedure has been launched for each athlete.
The instructions, concerning the next steps on the issue, will be submitted to the interested parties in a few days, the CAS specified, adding that the athletes had requested the court to issue its final ruling in the case before the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Following the ruling by the IOC, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the decision was part of a large-scale attack, an attempt to chase Russia away from professional sports.
At the same time, the IOC Disciplinary Commission, which focused on the alleged involvement of the Russian Sports Ministry and some other government agencies in doping abuse, said that it had not found any documented and independent evidence that "the highest state authority" was aware of the doping-related scheme.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly reaffirmed that there is no state-run doping scheme in Russia and emphasized that the country is working to solve the issues related to doping by athletes.