Russian Athletes Appeal before Court of Arbitration for Sport

Thomas Bach AFP

Thomas Bach AFP

Three days before the start of the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, almost three dozen Russian athletes on Tuesday filed a last-minute appeal to have their doping bans lifted so they can compete in Pyeongchang.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee expressed disappointment over the decision by sport's highest court to reinstate the medals and results of 28 Russians at the 2014 Winter Olympics, calling it "a massive setback for clean sport".

Bach says the International Olympic Committee has dealt with the issues as best they can and insists that they, CAS and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will convene to ensure there is not a repeat of the chaotic build-up to the Rio 2016 Games.

A statement from CAS read: "The applicants challenge the IOC decision refusing to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games".

As well as short-track speedskating legend Ahn, the 32 include world cross-country skiing champion Sergei Ustyugov and world biathlon champion Anton Shipulin.

The IOC said in a statement the objective of the review panel was "to confirm that athletes can be considered clean for a potential invitation to the Olympic Winter Games".

On Monday, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev described the IOC ruling as shameful, after that global sports body made a decision to ban 15 Russian athletes.

However, Nikitina was one of 28 Russians to have their bans overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), leaving Uhlaender unsure if or when she would ever get her hands on the Sochi bronze. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place Friday.

Later, Thomas Bach stated that he was disappointed with the CAS decision and called for reformation of the court.

According to an official International Olympic Committee figure, 168 Russian athletes now deemed "clean" will be participating in the Olympics in PyeongChang, but under a neutral flag.

"If their appeals are upheld, their participation will be granted", Reeb said, "and it will be the end, I think". Studies had to be done, evidence had to be provided, fair hearings for the Russian athletes had to be offered.

All 168 Russian athletes who will compete in the winter games will be accompanied by 169 members of the delegation and will participate under a neutral flag.

Russia escaped a blanket ban at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and there, too, tensions arose between the Russians and other competitors who branded them cheats.

Director Considered Introducing Letitia Wright's Black Panther In Sequels
England work on countering Six Nations threat of Wales's Scott Williams