Russian athletes have doping ban overturned by Lausanne-based court

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has fully upheld 28 and partially upheld 11 appeals filed by Russian athletes disqualified for life from participating in the Olympic games because of the doping suspicions, the press-release of the court reads.

The ruling means that athletes' 2014 results are reinstated and they could now seek to participate in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, which open on February 9.

Twenty-eight Russian athletes have had their Olympic doping bans overturned by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The host nation of 2014 Olympics lost first place after it was stripped of number of medals by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), over alleged doping manipulations. The IOC decisions in these matters are confirmed, with one exception.

Moscow, Feb 1 Russian Federation today welcomed a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift bans on 28 of its athletes accused of doping, and said that its efforts to defend its rights were paying off.

The IOC has since granted 169 Russians entry to compete as individuals under the neutral label "Olympic athlete from Russia".

The IOC stressed in a statement that the CAS ruling did not "automatically" confer a Pyeongchang invitation on the 28 athletes.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow will continue taking legal measures to defend its athletes.

CAS's verdict drew a whithering response from Jim Walden, the lawyer of doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

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The IOC warned that CAS's verdict "may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping".

Among those now cleared of cheating at Sochi 2014 are men's Olympic skeleton champion Aleksander Tretiakov, the current women's European and World Cup skeleton champion Elena Nikitina and Olympic cross-country gold medalist Alexander Legkov.

Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov stated that the CAS decision confirms that many of those accused of breaching the doping rules are in fact "clean".

CAS external linksaid that in the 28 cases, the IOC-imposed sanctions had been annulled due to insufficient evidence and their results at the Sochi Games had been reinstated.

CAS stated that there was sufficient evidence to establish that 11 athletes were guilty of anti-doping rule violations and declared them ineligible to compete in the Games in South Korea, but lifted their lifetime bans.

'It's also meaningful that we were able to come back with North Korean athletes on the same plane'.

But the International Olympic Committee left the door open for athletes without a history of doping to compete at its invitation without the Russian tricolour, national emblems or anthem. They would compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" - with no use of the Russian flag or national anthem permitted.

"It feels awesome (that they are coming)", said Choi So Eun, a college student who volunteered for translation and other work during the Olympics, after taking a selfie with a fellow volunteer under a North Korean flag at the Gangneung athletes' village.

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