According to the prime minister, the calls to abandon the assumption of innocence towards the Olympiс athletes and to reform the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) undermine the credibility of judicial procedures.
"We need consistency in judicial practice, absence of double standards in the work of international tribunals," Medvedev stressed in his speech at St. Petersburg's International Legal Forum.
The minister noted that accusations of doping abuse against Russian athletes had been contested in court, and in particular, the CAS in Lausanne had canceled the lifetime ban of athletes in 39 cases. According to the minister, Russian athletes have also filed lawsuits seeking to protect their honor and dignity in the courts of other countries.
Medvedev went on to say that in the meantime, officials in sports organizations maintain that in some cases concerning athletes a judge cannot be guided by the assumption of innocence and a court that upholds this principle must be reformed. "It is clear that in this case there is no talk of any trust in the law," the prime minister concluded.
In November 2017, the IOC commission led by Denis Oswald ruled to annul the results of 43 Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and ban them for life over alleged anti-doping rules violation. On February 1, the CAS overturned the ban of 28 Russian athletes, meaning their results from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi were reinstated. In 11 cases the CAS confirmed the decision of the IOC, however, the lifetime ban was reduced to only being expelled from the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.
IOC President Thomas Bach expressed his regret after CAS had overturned the IOC move to impose lifetime bans on 28 Russian athletes over doping charges and spoke for the need to reform the court.
The IOC Executive Board allowed only "clean" athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games under a neutral flag after it had suspended the Russian Olympic Committee over a doping scandal and withdrew the medals won by athletes found guilty of doping usage at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.