PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the appeals of 47 Russian athletes and coaches who were banned from participating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which open later on Friday.
The Russians had appealed their ban from the upcoming Games handed down in December by the International Olympic Committee over their alleged role in the doping scandal from the Olympics held in Sochi four years ago.
In upholding the IOC’s ban on the appellants, the CAS found that they had not demonstrated that the IOC process was “discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair.”
“In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision,” the CAS said in a statement.
The IOC had banned Russia and the Russian Olympic Committee after the fallout of the doping scandal, but it invited 169 pre-screened Russians to compete at PyeongChang under the Olympic flag as neutrals.
“Although the ROC was suspended, the IOC nevertheless chose to offer individual athletes the opportunity to participate in the Winter Games under prescribed conditions – a process that was designed to balance the IOC’s interest in the global fight against doping and the interests of individual athletes from Russia.”
The Winter Olympics run from Feb. 9-25.