Lawyer blasts 'weak' IOC over Russia reinstatement

AFP
The IOC banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but allowed Russian athletes to compete under an informal banner (AFP Photo/Adrian DENNIS)

The IOC banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but allowed Russian athletes to compete under an informal banner

The IOC banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but allowed Russian athletes to compete under an informal banner (AFP Photo/Adrian DENNIS)

Los Angeles (AFP) - The lawyer for doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov on Thursday slammed the International Olympic Committee's decision to reinstate Russia, branding the move an act of "appeasement".

In a brief statement which followed the IOC's lifting of its Russia ban on Wednesday, attorney Jim Walden said the decision represented "weakness in the face of evil".

Walden represents Rodchenkov, the former Moscow anti-doping chief who fled to the United States in 2015 before exposing Russia's intricate scheme to evade drug-testers at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Rodchenkov is now living in hiding in the United States and fears for his life.

Walden said IOC President Thomas Bach and the movement "treat Russia and its glaring acts of aggression with cowardice and appeasement".

"Weakness in the face of evil results in no good outcomes," Walden said.

"What Russia did at Sochi was evil directed at the Olympics and clean athletes. Its reaction since — lies, blame, threats and retaliation — is a broader form of evil."

The IOC banned Russia from competing at last month's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but allowed Russian athletes to compete under an informal banner.

The Russian government has denied any state involvement in doping.

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