Winter Olympics 2018: 32 Russians to appeal against Pyeongchang exclusion

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Russians allowed to participate at the Olympics are required to compete under the name of "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) following the IOC's ruling to disqualify Russia as a country from the Games.

Pound also criticized the "perverse" judgments of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which last week reversed life Olympic bans on 28 Russian athletes and staff. A hearing is "likely" to be held on February 7 - two days before the Games' Opening Ceremony - according to a press release from the CAS.

In addition to that, the document points to the sanctions nature of the invitation criteria applied by the IOC, their substantial expansion compared to those approved by the IOC Executive Board in its decision made on December 5, 2017 (the Executive Board approved of three criteria, while the Invitation Review Panel was guided by 17 criteria), violations of individual athletes' rights and abuse of IOC monopoly position.

The IOC banned Russian Federation from Pyeongchang over "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system in Sochi but left the door open to athletes with no history of doping to compete as neutrals, officially known as "Olympic Athletes from Russia". The Applicants challenge the IOC decision refusing to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

The Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened an arbitration procedure following an urgent application filed by 32 Russian athletes (the Applicants) against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (the Respondent).

Among the 32 appealing their Olympic bans are multiple Olympic champion speed skater Viktor Ahn and biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin.

This is despite a highly orchestrated plot culminating in Russia's hosting of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, where tainted samples were switched through a hole in the anti-doping laboratory's wall. One of them being the invitation of around 169 athletes with no doping history to compete as neutrals.

"We very much regret it".

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 athletes and the public at large in my view no longer have confidence that their interests are being protected".

The ruling by the sports court was a blow to the International Olympic Committee and has shifted some of the focus away from Friday's opening of the Games in frigid South Korea with about 3,000 athletes participating.

"Following the detailed analysis conducted by the Panel, its members observed that there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered by the IOC Oswald Commission because it was not available to it, that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes", the IOC said.