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Winter Games Yarnold: IOC were right to not invite Russians to Pyeonchang

LIZZY YARNOLD has frozen out her Russian skeleton rivals who are controversially battling to be reinstated just hours before the start of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Yarnold has been a staunch advocate of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to ban a swathe of Russian athletes, including skeleton sliders Elena Nikitina and Maria Orlova, over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

But her much-publicised stance has been thrown into turmoil after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned their suspensions and is set to rule today whether the IOC are obligated to allow the Russian athletes to compete in the Games.

Yarnold said: “It has been quite an emotional and challenging situation over the past few years and yes it will be difficult if the Russians will be competing.

“I believe the IOC were right in not inviting them to compete in Pyeongchang.

“My emotional state with certain Russian athletes is to have no emotion. I’ve been through a rollercoaster these last few years and I have enjoyed having conversations with Elena and Maria but now whenever I see them I will look at the floor and carry on.

“Essentially it’s just me and the sled and the track and that is my focus. I’ve worked too hard to be here to allow someone else to draw me into a situation that I don’t want to be in.”

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