Blow to Russian Federation as CAS rejects appeals on eve of Olympics

False Start

Pyeongchang: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday it has opened another arbitration procedure for 15 athletes and coaches who have appealed against their exclusion from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

But Russian athletes who are tested clean for doping will be allowed to participate in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag; they are prohibited from flying their national colors.

On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee said that 13 of the 28 athletes cleared by CAS would be considered by a special International Olympic Committee panel for a possible invitation to take part in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Just days before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics, it remains unclear who will be competing.

Among the athletes making the case is South Korea-born Victor Ahn, the most decorated short-track speedskater in Olympic history with six gold medals.

The first competitions of the games — including a U.S. -Russia curling match — had already started when the Court of Arbitration for Sport resumed its hearings at a luxury resort in the mountains near Pyeongchang.

CAS had overturned the doping ban for 28 Russian athletes on February 1 on the basis that there was "insufficient" evidence that the athletes had broken anti-doping rules.

The Olympic opening ceremony is set for tomorrow night, and the participation of the Russian athletes continues to be a distraction.

The Panel is now holding a hearing with the 32 athletes who filed their application at the CAS Ad Hoc division on 6 February 2018.

Coates says CAS will hear the cases in Pyeongchang.

"Receiving this invitation is a privilege for a clean Russian athlete".

Track and field athlete Yulia Stepanova and her husband Vitaly, who went public about doping in Russian Federation back in 2014, has accused WADA of doing nothing after they had tried for years to pass on information to the anti-doping body.

"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.

"We are definitely looking forward to a decision that CAS will make", Peskov said.

"A huge amount of work has gone in to making sure we can ensure that there can be a path for clean athletes from Russian Federation to compete in these Games here".