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Sports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians

Sports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians

CAS has ruled to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes whom the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier banned for life from participating in the Olympic Games over accusations of breaching anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

39 Russian athletes that had been banned from the Olympics for violating anti-doping rules at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games have had their sentences dropped or reduced.

There are still 11 other Russian athletes who got a lifetime ban whose appeals were rejected.but only for the South Korean Winter Games.

"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 Sochi 2014", a statement added. The Russian team initially won 33 medals in Sochi, including 13 golds, to put it ahead of Norway and Canada.

But for 28 other Russians, the evidence "was found to be insufficient", the CAS said.

"It makes it clear that, since the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is suspended, Russian athletes can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation by the IOC".

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser called for "full transparency from CAS on this decision", asking that evidence and transcripts from the ruling be presented to athletes.

The IOC grumblingly suggested in response to the ruling that the court was being excessively tough, requiring "an even higher threshold on the necessary level of evidence" than it had done in the past.

"The CAS has reached a very interesting decision", says Michele Verroken, founding director of Sporting Integrity Ltd and former director of ethics and anti-doping at UK.

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It was not immediately known if the cleared athletes would seek to take part in this month's Winter Olympics. The charges against the other 11 athletes were upheld.

The decisions reinstate the results for those athletes, which included medalists Alexander Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina in skeleton; Alexander Legkov and Maksim Vylegzhanin in cross-country skiing; Albert Demchenko and Tatyana Ivanova in luge; and Olga Fatkulina in speedskating.

"We will continue our peaceful legal fight for the rights of our athletes", Peskov said.

Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said the International Olympic Committee would be asked to allow the 28 athletes to compete in Pyeongchang.

"I know 100 percent that they're not guilty of anything", she told Reuters.

Russia's sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said "justice has finally triumphed", insisting those who were accused of doping were "clean athletes".

Representatives of the US Justice Department announced the beginning of investigation into corruption in such worldwide sports organizations as the global Olympic Committee (IOC), the worldwide Football Federation (FIFA), the worldwide Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and the National Olympic Committee of the United States, The New York Times newspaper wrote.

"This is an all-out violation of all worldwide rules".

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