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Ahn among Russians seeking Pyeongchang spots

IOC chief urges sports court reform after Russia bans lifted

A group of 32 Russians who were denied invitations to the Olympics because of evidence linking them to past doping had their case heard Wednesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but no decision was made.

After the CAS decision, Russia's Olympic Committee requested that 13 active athletes and two who had become coaches should be allowed to participate in the February 9-25 Games but the IOC has refused to extend invitations to them.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) review panel chaired by Valerie Fourneyron has declined a request to invite 13 more athletes and two more coaches from Russian Federation, cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), to the PyeongChang Olympic Games. Thirteen of group have either retired or are unavailable for undisclosed reasons.

Photo Athletes are arriving and training in Pyeongchang, but only days before the Games open, no one knows how many Russian athletes will take part.

The IOC in December banned Russian Federation from the Olympics, citing its "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the Olympic anti-doping system.

The IOC's decision not to invite leading Russian athletes to PyeongChang was met with criticism in Russia, as no evidence of their guilt has been presented.

They will wear a uniform with that name on it, and the Olympic anthem will be played at any medal ceremonies for Russian athletes.

Later, Thomas Bach stated that he was disappointed with the CAS decision and called for reformation of the court. "This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)".

"They refuse to use same elevator as us": Russian skater on doping backlash Russian speed skater Olga Fatkulina says that doping allegations against Russia have formed a negative attitude towards the national team, with foreign rivals even refusing to use the same elevator as Russian competitors.

CAS earlier upheld appeals filed by 28 Russian athletes who had received life Olympic bans over alleged doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

These athletes failed a vetting process set up by the International Olympic Committee after banning Russia from competing in South Korea in response to the Russian doping program at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

"I think that the timing of all this is ridiculous", said Lowell Bailey, an American biathlete and a reigning world champion, who added that the I.O.C. should acknowledge that it is partly responsible for this unnecessary chaos.

Late invitations could result in other Russian athletes being cut, especially in sports such as hockey where a full roster is already registered.

The organizing committee reported no confirmed cases among athletes. They'll simply be "Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation". The strongest competitors were barred from the Olympics.

This week Pound, a former Olympic swimmer for Canada, criticized the IOC, saying the sanctions against Russian Federation have not gone far enough.

"The IOC has nearly plenary power to even ignore what the Court of Arbitration for Sports has decided", Christopher Chambers, lawyer and professor at Georgetown University, told RT.

International Olympic Committee member and Court of Arbitration for Sport president John Coates delivered a report on recent activities by CAS on Wednesday.