Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

A second appeal by 15 Russian athletes and coaches has been registered

A second appeal by 15 Russian athletes and coaches has been registered

Olympics chief Thomas Bach defended his handling of the Russian doping scandal on Wednesday as legal bids by 47 Russians to join the Pyeongchang Winter Games looked set to go down to the wire.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) says that it will not hear an appeal of at least six Russian athletes who were banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics until after the competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Forty-five Russian athletes will have to wait until Friday, the opening day of the Pyeongchang Olympics, to find out if they can compete. It will announce its ruling at 11 a.m. Friday, nine hours before the opening ceremony. The late wrangling to join this group has proved a distraction before Pyeongchang and echoes the confusion at Rio 2016, when the International Olympic Committee stopped short of banning Russia and instead let sports federations decide whether to admit Russian athletes.

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"The reasoned decisions in high profile cases are critically important", Coates said.

The news follows Monday's decision by the International Olympic Committee to reject a request to invite 13 active athletes and two retired athletes working in support roles who were among 28 athletes whose lifetime bans were overturned by CAS last Thursday while the ban on 11 others was upheld.

The IOC is refusing to invite 13 of the 28 athletes that are still active to Pyeongchang.

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"We stand by and renew our call (made 9 August 2017) for "the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to improve and strengthen its independence and continually strive to increase the quality of its arbitrators".

The hearing on the first case was held on Wednesday morning, but no decision was announced and the judges chose to adjourn the hearing until noon on Thursday. If they win gold medals, the Olympic anthem will be played.

Russian officials and athletes have indicated that not all of those who have filed appeals plan to compete if they win.

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The IOC has banned Russia from the 2018 Games over "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system, although individual Russian athletes can compete as neutrals - as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", under the Olympic flag and wearing uniforms without national insignia - if they meet stringent IOC criteria.

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