Jackson: IOC made right decision for clean Russian athletes

Jackson: IOC made right decision for clean Russian athletes
By Sportsbeat

06/12/2017 at 14:11Updated 06/12/2017 at 14:19

John Jackson insists the International Olympic Committee have made the right decision in allowing clean Russians to compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The IOC banned Russia from competing at February's Games following an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping, but will allow clean athletes to compete under a neutral flag.

Russia topped the medal table at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with 33 - 13 of which were gold - but has subsequently dropped to fourth after a number of athletes were banned for doping and thus stripped of their medals.

The IOC's decision has been widely condemned in Russia, with several politicians calling for a boycott of the Games.

Former British bobsledder Jackson - alongside Bruce Tasker, Joel Fearon and Stuart Benson - is set to be awarded a bronze medal from Sochi after the disqualification of two Russian crews.

But despite being stripped off his opportunity to stand on the podium in 2014, Jackson is adamant clean Russian athletes have the right to be in PyeongChang next year.

"I think it's the right decision from the IOC not to allow Russia to compete, but to allow the clean athletes to compete," Jackson told BBC Sport.

"I think that is fair and justifiable to athletes who have put their time and effort to the best of their ability, not enhanced.

"I think it's only right that they should get the chance to compete on the world stage.

"It will be a shame not to have Russia there because they are a big powerhouse in winter sport, but it now brings everything back to a level playing field.

"That's all you can ask for as an athlete. If you get beaten by a better person, fair play.

"It shows that the IOC are willing to make strong decisions, and I'm hoping this will now deter any other nations thinking of doing something similar."