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CAS opens case for fifteen Russians appealing Pyeongchang exclusion

CAS opens case for fifteen Russians appealing Pyeongchang exclusion

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has defended the organisation's handling of the Russian Federation doping scandal ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

The group of 32 athletes - including six-time Olympic gold medalist Viktor Ahn, three former National Hockey League players and world biathlon champion Anton Shipulin - failed to pass mandatory IOC vetting, imposed as a result of Russian doping at the 2014 Games.

The suspended Russian Olympic Committee had asked for the 15 to be allowed to take part as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) under the Olympic flag. Hundreds more have been barred, and many have gone to court seeking entry and causing last-minute chaos.

"In addition, the Panel agreed that the decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping or given the Panel sufficient confidence to recommend to the OAR IG that those 13 athletes could be considered as clean", the statement said.

The IOC hasn't said why any of the individual Russians weren't invited, but did say it used a newly available database detailing past doping when it decided who should be eligible.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee has condemned the decision by sport's highest court CAS to reinstate the medals and results of 28 Russians at the 2014 Winter Games, calling it "a massive setback for clean sport".

Earlier, the CAS upheld appeals filed by 28 Russian athletes, who had received lifetime bans on participating in any Olympics event over the alleged doping violations in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The athletes want a "comprehensive review" of how the investigation by lawyer Richard McLaren into Russia's doping conspiracy was handled. "We have some concerns about the quality of this decision", Bach told reporters on Sunday, questioning why the court didn't take into account the "systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia". Thus, we call for stronger leadership from sport to protect clean athletes and their right to doping-free sport.

They include cross-country ski gold medalist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as speed skating silver medalist Olga Fatkulina.

Around 30 to 35 Russian Paralympians have been allowed to compete in the Winter Paralympic Games as "neutral athletes" in five sports disciplines, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said. It's not clear how that process would work.

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