Russian Athletes Banned from Olympics for Doping Lose Appeal

Russians' last-minute Winter Olympics appeal rejected

Any Russians who win late invitations would compete under "Olympic Athletes from Russia" because the Russian team is formally banned for doping at the Sochi Olympics.

The Court ruled the IOC's refusal to invite them constituted no sanction but rather an eligibility decision.

Graf said the exclusion of several team mates would prevent Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation from contending for a medal in the team pursuit event.

Russian athletes competing in Pyeongchang must follow a code of conduct that prevents them from wearing their country colors and advises them against posting national symbols on social media.

USA athletes praised the decision and the end to uncertainty of participation of some Russian athletes.

Russia's desperate attempt to get 45 banned athletes - including several medal favorites - into the Pyeongchang Olympics failed just hours before Friday's opening ceremony. Investigations revealed an elaborate ploy where tainted Russian urine samples were switched with clean ones overnight using a "mousehole" in the wall of the Sochi anti-doping laboratory.

For Tatiana Volosozhar, a figure skater who won gold for Russia in 2014, the house should be a beacon of hope for Russian athletes in tough circumstances.

The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned. On Thursday, reports emerged of an altercation between a Canadian and a Russian at the athletes' village.

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"By this light show in front of the headquarters of WADA we want to tell the whole world that the only doping among the Russian Olympic team is our support and love", they said. It doesn't matter how we are called: Olympic Athletes from Russia or Team Russia.

Fifteen of the 47 who lost their bids on Friday were among a group of 28 who controversially had life bans from the Olympics overturned last week by CAS.

Among those excluded are six-time gold medalist Viktor Ahn, the short track speedskater whose return to his native South Korea for the Olympics had been hotly anticipated by local fans.

While Russia will not be formally recognized, the delegation is still one of the largest at the Winter Games and will likely contend for the top of the medal count.

The Reuters examination of Russia's 2018 Olympians' results did not focus on the Sochi Games, over which Russian Federation has faced allegations of orchestrating one of the biggest doping cover up schemes in sport.

Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko was scathing in his assessment telling TASS the CAS decision would "diminish competition and attention to the Games".

"It's clearly disappointing we're still talking about this on the eve of the Winter Games", said Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association. CAS was considering their appeals all week, unable to deliver final decisions until the morning the Olympics ceremonially begin. "And why the International Olympic Committee rushed the process on the Sochi medal decisions is unexplainable and a tragedy for clean athletes".

"I hope International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is listening".

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