Jean-Claude Killy, a close friend of Vladimir Putin, as criticised the IOC decision to ban Russia from Pyeongchang 2018 ©The Kremlin

International Olympic Committee (IOC) honorary member Jean-Claude Killy has criticised the decision to ban Russia from Pyeongchang 2018.

The Frenchman led the IOC Coordination Commission for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games at Sochi 2014 and has made no secret that he is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The IOC has found itself in a very complicated situation," Killy, a triple Olympic Alpine skiing gold medallist, told French newspaper Le Parisien . 

"The story started with Grigory Rodchenkov's evidence that was included in Richard McLaren’s report, which was not very precise, and all sentences in it began with the words 'as far as we know', which means you are not self-confident."

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday (February 9) dismissed the appeals of all 45 Russian athletes hoping to be cleared to compete here.

Appeals filed by two coaches were also dismissed by the Ad Hoc Division of the CAS.

The announcement, delivered by CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb, means athletes such as Olympic skeleton champion Alexander Tretiakov and Olympic cross-country skiing gold medallist Alexander Legkov are barred from participating at Pyeongchang 2018.

Russia are banned from competing under their own flag.

A total of 168 competitors are taking part as the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" under the Olympic flag.

Olympic Athletes from Russia are competing under the Olympic flag at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
Olympic Athletes from Russia are competing under the Olympic flag at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

"Collective punishment is awful, it is obviously necessary to thwart cheaters, but you cannot simply fish out everyone with a huge net and throw away on the bank of the Volga River," Killy, a voting member of the IOC between 1995 and 2014, told Le Parisien.

Last December, Killy had defended Putin in an interview with CNN. 

"He has a big heart, he makes very good decisions," he told the United States broadcaster.

"He's very smart. 

"I think he's poorly treated today in the world.

"I feel bad about it. 

"I feel very sorry about him because I believe it is unfair.

"It's politically a mistake not to keep Russia in our arms.

"It's a big mistake."