Winter Olympics: 47 Russians Lose Late Court Bid To Compete In PyeongChang 2018
The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned but a certain number of "clean" Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.
Forty-seven Russians implicated in doping lost a last-minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony. The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to Pyeongchang. "The applications filed by Russian athletes and coaches have been dismissed," the CAS said in a statement. The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned but a certain number of "clean" Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.
Fifteen of those who lost their bids on Friday were among a group of 28 who controversially had life bans from the Olympics overturned last week by CAS, which cited insufficient evidence.
The other 32, including An, biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov, a cross-country skiing world champion, were omitted from the list of Russians invited to Pyeongchang.
"In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision," CAS said.
However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter. A source close to the IOC has told AFP that the 47 Russians have also lodged a case with a Swiss civil court in Lausanne.
A spokesman for the neutral Russian team, the "Olympic Athletes from Russia", declined to comment when approached by AFP.