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PyeongChang-2018

Russian appeals rejected

Russia's desperate attempt to get 45 banned athletes — including several medal favourites — into the Pyeongchang Olympics failed just hours before Friday's opening ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee had banned Russia because of a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games, but gave individual athletes the chance to apply for admission to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia." There were 168 Russians who passed the vetting process. Dozens more filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

On Friday, the court upheld the IOC's right to decide who can compete.

Anti-doping officials praised the ruling, which is a heavy blow to Russian medal chances.

"That's it. The story is over," Russian delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov said. Shamil Tarpishchev, a Russian member of the IOC, said the CAS ruling may have been legally correct but he disagreed with the spirit of the ruling.

After two days of hearings, the CAS panel ruled that the commissions which evaluated whether Russian applicants were eligible did not act in a "discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner."

CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said the IOC process "could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision."

Olympic and World Anti-Doping Agency officials welcomed the ruling, with the IOC saying the decision "supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes."

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

Also out are cross-country skiing gold medallist Alexander Legkov and skeleton gold medallist Alexander Tretiakov, as well as potential medal contenders in biathlon, luge and bobsled.

Three former NHL players — Sergei Plotnikov, Anton Belov and Valeri Nichushkin — also lost appeals, though it was widely considered unlikely they would have played even if they had been successful because the Russian roster is already full.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the decision was "a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark and sordid affair."



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PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Norway14141139
2Germany1410731
3Canada1181029
4United States98623
5Netherlands86620
6South Korea58417
7Olympic Athlete
from Russia
26917
8Switzerland56415
9France54615
10Sweden76114


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