Sports Tribunal Overturns Lifetime Bans For Doping Against 28 Russian Athletes

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But it also said that the decision did not necessarily mean that the 28 athletes who had their appeals upheld would be eligible to compete in Pyeongchang.

Peskov said it was not clear whether the 28 Russians would now be able to take part in the Winter Games starting in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next week.

An IOC statement said: "On the one hand, the confirmation of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations for 11 athletes because of the manipulation of their samples clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014".

The IOC stated that it may launch appeal of its own after CAS ruled there was insufficient to establish that anti-doping rule violations were committed by the 28 to have had their bans revoked, also reinstating their results from the Games four years ago.

On January 31, Putin said the IOC's decision to ban Russia from the Olympics amounted to an "outside attack" on Russian sports.

The decision to lift the life ban was widely expected, as CAS has previously ruled against attempts to go beyond the sanctions allowed by the WADA Code before, but the 28 successful appeals throw the IOC's belated attempts to get tough with Russian Federation into turmoil.

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However, the IOC has invited 169 Russians to compete under a neutral flag using the name "Olympic Athletes from Russia", provided they meet strict guidelines on doping.

"Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation", the organization stressed.

"The CAS decision only emboldens cheaters, makes it harder for clean athletes to win, and provides yet another ill-gotten gain for the corrupt Russian doping system generally, and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin specifically". Russian Federation has repeatedly denied state involvement in doping.

They will stay at Gangneung Olympic Village, in Gangwon Province, throughout the Winter Games period.

"As for the question about whether there were problems with doping or not - certainly there were, just like in many other countries", he added.

The athletes who appealed denied being part of a state-backed doping program that investigators said was in place during the Sochi Olympics.

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In 11 cases the decision of the International Olympic Committee was confirmed, however, the lifetime ban was reduced to only being expelled from the upcoming Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

The IOC had imposed lifetime bans on 43 Russians in all for doping.

Walden told AFP the ruling was "unfortunate" and suggested it "provides a very small measure of punishment for some athletes but a complete "get out of jail free card" for most".

"Having been deprived of the chance to compete for the Olympic podium in the team pursuit, I do not accept the IOC invitation for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang".

"I'm glad that the International Olympic Committee has recognised me as a clean athlete, which is what I am", Graf said in a Facebook post.

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