CAS clears 28 Russian athletes of doping charges

Appeals of 11 other athletes have been partially upheld.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld the appeals of 28 Russian athletes who challenged the IOC over their life bans for doping.   -  GETTY IMAGES

According to reports, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned suspensions of 28 Russian athletes who were banned for life by the  International Olympic Committee for doping. Appeals of 11 others are partially upheld.

Earlier 39 athletes - who were part of the 2014 Winter games in Sochi - had approached the CAS to appeal against the suspension.

The CAS said, "In 28 cases, the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes concerned...sanctions are annulled and results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated."

In a decision that could allow some of them to compete in this month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, CAS ruled there was insufficient evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping at the last Winter Games, hosted by Russia.

Athough Russia has been banned from taking part in the upcoming games, 169 of its competitors have been cleared to play under a neutral flag.

Meanwhile, the IOC " regretted very much that – according to the CAS press release – the panels did not take this proven existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases.

"The CAS required an even higher threshold on the necessary level of evidence than the Oswald Commission and former CAS decisions."

It further added: "The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.

"In this context, it is also important to note that, in his press conference, the CAS Secretary General insisted that the CAS decision “…does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent."

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