Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

CAS rejects appeals by 47 Russians against Olympic bans

CAS rejects appeals by 47 Russians against Olympic bans

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled that 45 Russian athletes and two coaches can not take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after rejecting their appeals to overturn a ban from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Even though Russian Federation is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics as a result of an alleged state-backed doping program, which helped hide test results from hundreds of athletes using performance-enhancing drugs, the International Olympic Committee granted some of the country's athletes - more than 100 of them, in total - "special dispensation" to compete.

"We welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes", the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement.

The court determined there was insufficient evidence that they had broken the rules.

Many of those athletes were initially stripped of their Olympic medals and barred from competition, but CAS had reinstated some of their Sochi results, giving them hope they might also be allowed to compete in PyeongChang.

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Bach says the International Olympic Committee has dealt with the issues as best they can and insists that they, CAS and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will convene to ensure there is not a repeat of the chaotic build-up to the Rio 2016 Games.

But the IOC left open a loophole when it said a large group of "clean" Russian athletes could take part under a neutral flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".

French former swimming champion Antoine Galavtine, a gold and silver medal victor in worldwide championships, told Sputnik that the global Olympic Committee (IOC) is discriminating against Russian athletes.

CAS announced the cases on Thursday, adding: "The applicants are challenging the IOC's refusal to invite them to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games".

Three former National Hockey League players - Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin - also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they would have played even if they had been successful because the Russian roster is already full.

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"We can't see what has enabled those athletes to demonstrate that they are clean. Even more disturbing is the fact that even CAS wouldn't be able to protect athletes, because its opinion apparently no one takes into account anymore", Galavtine said.

A shot from the 2014 opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia. There were 232 Russian athletes in Sochi, where the host country typically receives more entries, 177 in Vancouver and 190 in Turin.

No, the world does not have a new nation state. ". The best thing we can do for clean sport is to make sure there is a really strong anti-doping agency in Russian Federation".

The six athletes include two world champion speedskaters, Denis Yuskov and Pavel Kulizhnikov, plus athletes from biathlon and ski jumping.

"I hope International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is listening".

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