Lithuanian president hails IOC decision to ban Russia from Olympics
Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė has welcomed the decision taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other institutions to ban Russia from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics due to the state-supported doping scheme.
"The Olympic sports have finally started to cleanse itself and take a strict stance on scandals. (...) It sets a very good precedent to dare to touch a country that was involved in the doping plot from the very top on the state level. It is a huge step towards more transparent sports," Grybauskaitė told journalists in Pyeongchang.
The Lithuanian leader emphasized the importance of this year's Olympics for Lithuanian athletes who are fighting for their country, as it celebrates a 100-year anniversary of its statehood.
In December, the International Olympic Committee suspended Russia over a state-supported doping plot, which reached its peak during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. On Friday, a few hours before the opening of the Pyeongchang games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the last-minute attempt by 47 Russian athletes to appeal against the ban. Another 168 Russian athletes who have been proven to be clear of the prohibited substances have entered the Olympic Games in South Korea under the status of Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).