Vancouver Sun

Ap­peal­ing Rus­sians must wait to learn Olympic fate

- Sports · Doping · Olympic Games · Pyongyang · Court of Arbitration for Sport · International Olympic Committee · Sochi · Alexander Legkov

Two groups of Rus­sian ath­letes seek­ing late en­try for the Pyeongchan­g Olympics had their ap­peals ad­journed Wed­nes­day, leav­ing de­ci­sions on their par­tic­i­pa­tion to the eve of Fri­day ’s open­ing cer­e­mony at the ear­li­est.

A group of 32 Rus­sians who were de­nied in­vi­ta­tions to the Olympics be­cause of ev­i­dence link­ing them to past dop­ing had their case heard Wed­nes­day by the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport, but no de­ci­sion was made.

A sec­ond group of 15 lodged an ap­pli­ca­tion Wed­nes­day seek­ing to force the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to in­vite them to the Games. They were all banned last year for dop­ing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but those ver­dicts were over­turned last week by CAS, sports’ high­est court. The 13 ath­letes and two coaches in that group in­cluded cross-coun­try ski­ing gold medal­list Alexan­der Legkov and skele­ton gold medal­list Alexan­der Tre­ti­akov.

CAS sec­re­tary gen­eral Matthieu Reeb said the first hear­ing was ad­journed to to­day, re­sum­ing at noon, “to hear also the sec­ond case.”

“They want to con­sol­i­date the two cases,” Reeb said. “Pos­si­bly a fi­nal de­ci­sion can be ren­dered at the end of the day to­mor­row. If we need more time, per­haps it will be Fri­day morn­ing.”

The group of 32 ath­letes — in­clud­ing six-time Olympic gold medal­list Vik­tor Ahn, three for­mer NHL play­ers and world biathlon cham­pion An­ton Ship­ulin — failed to pass manda­tory IOC vet­ting, im­posed as a re­sult of Rus­sian dop­ing at the 2014 Games.

“While CAS is sit­ting to­day and con­sid­er­ing us, I’m out train­ing. I’m not giv­ing up and I’m hop­ing for a pos­i­tive re­sult,” Ship­ulin said on so­cial me­dia.

If the Rus­sians are suc­cess­ful, the medal con­tenders in some sports change dra­mat­i­cally.

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