Prague, Nov 29 (AFP/APP):The Czech Ice Hockey Association (CSLH) said Wednesday several national federations had sent letters to the sport’s top international body backing Russia’s bid to play at the 2018 Winter Olympics. They want the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to let Russia play despite the country’s doping scandals from the 2014 Games it hosted. The IOC meets next week to decide on Russia’s participation at the PyeongChang Games in south Korea. “We want the best hockey players to take part in the 2018 Olympics,” CSLH spokesman Zdenek Zikmund told AFP. “We want to play for the medals against the best, and Russia is definitely one of the best,” he added. Zikmund said other ice hockey powerhouses including Finland and Sweden had sent similar letters to the IIHF to give its head Rene Fasel ammunition for talks with the IOC. The IIHF itself said on Tuesday that “all clean athletes, including those from Russia, must be permitted to represent their country in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.” “We oppose the use of collective punishment in the case of Russian athletes,” the IIHF said at its Council meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
Orignally published by APP