The Court of Arbitration for Sport has affirmed a decision that 47 Russian athletes and coaches should not be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics, weighing in on the matter with just hours to go before Pyeongchang holds its opening ceremony for nearly 3,000 athletes from around the world.
The group of 47 who were turned away includes Victor Ahn, a short track speed skater who has won multiple gold medals in previous Olympics, including in Sochi.
The decision leaves intact the total of 168 Russian athletes who were allowed to come to Pyeongchang to compete, after they passed additional scrutiny. That contingent sough an invitation to South Korea after the International Olympic Committee imposed a ban on Russia’s national governing body in December.
In their decision, a three-person CAS panel (made up of a Canadian, a Swiss and an Australian) said that the process that was used to select Russia’s contingent in South Korea — who will compete under the title “Olympic Athlete from Russia” and will not wear their country’s flag or colors — had not been proven to be “discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair,” and that the ban should remain in place.
The 47 athletes and coaches involved in the latest appeal had asked to be invited to the 2018 Games despite being left off the list of invitees who were cleared by a review panel. The review was the only path to the Olympics for these athletes, after the IOC laid down its punishment for a systematic scheme of doping and cover-ups that was uncovered as part of an investigation into Russian athletes who participated in the Sochi Games of 2014.
Earlier this week, the IOC also refused a request from 13 Russian athletes and two coaches to participate in the PyeongChang Games – despite the group having their lifetime bans for doping overturned by the Swiss-based CAS.
The decision comes one day after the CAS panel said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeals of six Russian athletes and seven members of the athletes’ entourages, who had also sought to have their bans overturned.
In addition to Ahn, here’s the complete list of the Russian athletes and coaches involved in Friday’s decision:
Vladimir Grigorev; Anton Shipulin; Evgeniy Garanichev; Ruslan Murashov; Ekaterina Shikhova; Sergei Ustyugov; Ksenia Stolbova; Ekaterina Urlova-Percht; Maksim Tcvetkov; Irina Uslugina; Yulia Shokshueva; Daria Virolainen; Dmitri Popov; Roman Koshelev; Mikhail Naumenkov; Alexei Bereglasov; Valeri Nichushkin; Anton Belov; Sergei Plotnikov; Evgeniya Zakharova; Ruslan Zakharov; Anna Iurakova; Alexey Esin; Yulia Skokova; Elizaveta Kazelina; Sergey Gryaztsov; Ivan Bukin; Denis Arapetyan; Artem Kozlov; Gleb Retivikh; Alexey Volkov; Alexander Legkov; Maxim Vylegzhanin; Evgeniy Belov; Alexander Bessmertnykh; Evgenia Shapovalova; Natalia Matveeva; Aleksandr Tretiakov; Elena Nikitina; Maria Orlova; Olga Fatkulina; Alexander Rumyantsev; Artem Kuznetcov; Tatyana Ivanova; Albert Demchenko; Sergei Chudinov.
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