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Olympics doping scandal leads to verbal exchange between Canada, Russia at Pyeongchang Games

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ABOVE: Doping controversy leads to verbal spat between Canadian, Russian in Pyeongchang – Feb 8, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of – A verbal exchange between a Canadian and a Russian at the Pyeongchang Games has prompted an apology, of sorts, from Canada’s Olympic team.

The Canadian Olympic Committee’s executive director of sport said Thursday at a news conference the incident happened in a cafeteria earlier in the week, but did not reveal whether the Canadian involved was an athlete, coach or support personnel, or exactly what was said.

“It’s an incident, a cafeteria discussion that happened earlier in the week,” Eric Myles said. “This morning we had an opportunity to have a discussion between the two organizations and everything is OK.

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“We said ‘Hey, if something happened, we’re sorry.”‘

The International Olympic Committee is attempting to bar over 40 Russian athletes from the Games for alleged doping violations.

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Russia’s participation in the Games, and the barrage of appeals filed to the Court of Arbitration for sport on behalf of those athletes, has dominated the pre-Olympic environment. Russia’s Olympic committee is officially barred from the Games due to a widespread doping controversy, but athletes that the IOC have determined to be clean are participating under the banner of “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Myles believed tension over the controversy was a factor in the incident.

“It’s an emotional time,” he said. “There’s a lot of action going on internationally.

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“When we heard about this situation – honestly it’s not clear – I don’t know if it was a coach, athlete, was it really a Canadian?”

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Despite this lack of information, Myles said a memo was sent to the entire Canadian team to “say we don’t want to get in those situations” as well as give the half apology to Russia’s team.