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Court rejects appeals by 47 Russian athletes hours before opening ceremony
February 21 2018, 05:33 | Van Peters
Blow to Russia as CAS rejects appeals on eve of Olympics
On Friday, 47 Russians implicated in doping lost a last- minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Olympics, just hours before the opening ceremony.
Walden has accused the International Olympic Committee and CAS of being "complicit in enabling Russian doping" for not implementing strong punishments for Russian athletes, including a blanket ban.
The IOC had been criticised in 2016 for not banning Russian from the Rio de Janeiro Games following the information provided by three whistleblowers who essentially exposed Russian doping.
The ruling obviously avoids what would have been the tumult if not chaos of integrating some number - up to 47 - more "Olympic Athletes from Russia" into the delegation here even as the Games were getting underway, a process that doubtlessly would have drawn, and appropriately, worldwide condemnation. "This all will diminish competition and attention to the Games".
For all the angst over the timing of the decision the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport issued Friday morning in denying the appeals of 47 Russian athletes and coaches to take part in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which - um, start Friday night - the decision itself was actually straightforward and, to be honest, easy. So too did the lawyer for Grigory Rodchenkov, the mastermind of the Sochi scandal and the whistleblower who brought it to the attention of the anti-doping authorities.
"There was no finding that this was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner", he added.
"The International Olympic Committee and CAS have been complicit in enabling Russian doping".
Friday's verdict, he said, is "a small semblance of justice for clean athletes". "That's what I hope". "For the sake of the Olympic ideal, he needs to resign".
Those six cases had been filed separately with applications by seven members of Russian support staff. CAS said its arbiters reviewed written submissions and "determined that the CAS ad hoc division lacked jurisdiction to deal with any of the two applications".
The IOC banned Russian Federation from taking part in the Pyeongchang Games, but inexplicably left open the possibility of individuals being allowed to compete if they could prove they were clean. Nor did they act improperly.
A spokesman for the 168-strong, neutral Russian team, the "Olympic Athletes from Russia", declined to comment when approached by AFP.
The highly politicized Pyeongchang Olympics are officially opening, but not without some last-minute drama as the Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to announce whether 45 excluded Russian athletes can compete.
Among the athletes who were hoping to gatecrash the Olympics by forcing an invite through CAS were Victor Ahn and and Elena Nikitina.
The announcement, delivered by CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb, means athletes such as Olympic skeleton champion Alexander Tretiakov and Olympic cross-country skiing gold medallist Alexander Legkov are barred from participating at Pyeongchang 2018. At the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, it involved a cloak-and-dagger operation to tamper with urine samples. Dozens of them are known dopers, and several of them had their 2014 medals stripped.