Winter Olympics 2018: CAS upholds Russian ban

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals of 47 Russian athletes and coaches who were hoping to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, just hours before the opening ceremony.

CAS last week overturned lifetime bans imposed on 28 Russian athletes for doping offences at the previous Games in Sochi and was scheduled to announce whether International Olympic Committee (IOC) must invite a further 47 individuals who lodged appeals to participate in South Korea. 

The IOC suspended Russia from the Winter Olympics in December following allegations of state-sponsored doping, though a contingent of competitors have been granted permission to compete under a neutral flag.

But the 47 athletes and coaches who challenged the IOC's decision not to invite them to the Games had their appeals thrown out by CAS, who upheld the suspensions on Friday.

In a statement, CAS secretary Matthieu Reeb said: "The CAS Panel found that the Applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions [the Invitation Review Panel (IRP)] and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group [OAR IG] independently evaluated the Applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner."

Short-track speedskater Victor Ahn – a six-time Olympic gold medallist – is among the athletes to have been denied the opportunity to participate in Pyeongchang.