You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

47 Russians lose late court bid to compete at Olympics

AFP  |  Pyeongchang 

Forty-seven Russians implicated in doping lost a last-minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony.

The applicants, who included Korean-born speed Victor An, had asked the (CAS) to overturn an decision not to invite them to

"The applications filed by Russian athletes and coaches have been dismissed," CAS Matthieu Reeb told a packed conference.

The IOC was swift to welcome the decision, the latest twist in the Russian doping scandal, saying the ruling "supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".

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 and Sergei Ustyugov, a cross-country world champion, were also 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 (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision," Reeb said.

However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter. A source close to the IOC told AFP that the 47 Russians have also lodged a case with a Swiss civil court in

A for the 168-strong, neutral Russian team, the "Olympic Athletes from Russia", declined to comment when approached by AFP.

Russia's suspension in December follows the uncovering of a systemic doping conspiracy culminating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, where host nation topped the medals table.

Investigations revealed an elaborate ploy where tainted Russian urine samples were switched with clean ones overnight using a "mousehole" in the wall of the Sochi anti- doping laboratory.

has denied any government links to the conspiracy. But the IOC has suspended its former minister, Vitaly Mutko, for life.

Russia's participation has been fiercely debated among athletes and Canada's team was forced to apologise on Thursday after an alleged altercation at the athletes' village.

"If you have been caught cheating you need to be gone. It needs to be the same for every country," said USA bobsledder

"If you're a you should compete. If you're not a then you should not compete. There's no grey area for me about it.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 10:10 IST