Russian Olympians have doping bans overturned, Sochi results reinstated

Feb 03, 2018, 09:45
Russian Olympians have doping bans overturned, Sochi results reinstated

In a decision that could allow some of them to compete in the Winter Olympics, the top sports court ruled there was "insufficient" evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping at the last Winter Games, hosted by Russian Federation.

Eleven other athletes were confirmed to have committed doping offences although CAS said it had reduced their lifetime Olympic bans to a suspension from this year's Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned the Olympic doping bans on 28 Russian athletes.

Olympic life bans for those 11 were reduced by CAS to a simple expulsion from the Pyeongchang Games, which open February 9.

Although not a traditional powerhouse in parallel giant slalom snowboarding, China has earned the right to have three athletes compete in South Korea.

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The IOC in December also banned Russian Federation from the Olympics in Pyeongchang, citing its "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the Olympic anti-doping system. The IOC still has to approve the decision regarding the medals.

In making its decision, the CAS also reinstated the results of the athletes in Sochi.

A North Korean delegation consisting of officials and athletes competing in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics arrived aboard a South Korean chartered plane on Thursday, according to a pool report.

"We are glad for those athletes who were supported by the sports arbitration panel but not all 100 percent of them were exonerated", Putin said.

Responding to the verdict of sport's top court, the International Olympic Committee denied that all of the 28 athletes who won their cases would be allowed to compete in the PyeongChang Olympics, which opens next week.

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The ruling provided "a very small measure of punishment for some athletes but a complete "get-out-of-jail-free card" for most", lawyer Jim Walden said. That process involved two International Olympic Committee panels assessing hundreds of Russians athletes for suspicions of doping.

At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a total of 2,925 athletes from 92 countries will compete for a record 102 gold medals.

Russian athletes won't be allowed to display the flag in Pyeongchang, or accept Russian flags offered by fans.

The laboratory's director, Grigory Rodchenkov, has been the key whistleblower at the heart of the scandal, telling investigators he'd overseen the program, providing emails, laboratory records and contemporaneous notes to show senior Russian officials were aware of the program.

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