Court Clears 28 Russian Athletes of Doping Before Winter Olympics

The IOC expressed its unhappiness after CAS overturned the ban of 28 Russian athletes, meaning their results from 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi were reinstated.

Last month, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia's Olympic team from the 2018 Games after a yearlong investigation into systematic doping by Russian athletes.

CAS also partially upheld 11 appeals made by athletes challenging sanctions made by the International Olympic Committee, with a further three having their hearings postponed until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics - which start next week.

The cases of a further three Russian Olympians - Olga Zaytseva, Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova - have been "suspended" while the 43rd, Bobsleigher Maxim Belugin, did not lodge an appeal with Cas.

According to the latest projections from sports data firm Gracenote, China is expected to rank seventh in the medal table with seven golds, one silver and two bronzes.

The confirmation of 11 cases "clearly demonstrates once more the existence of the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014", it added.

In making its decision, the CAS also reinstated the results of the athletes in Sochi.

South Korea's unification ministry on Monday said that Pyongyang had called off an event set to take place at North Korea's Mount Kumgang on February 4 as part of a series of events in the lead up to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, South Korea's official news agency Yonhap reported.

"Forgive us for not having been able to shield you from this", Putin said, adding that the scandal had contributed to "very hard conditions" for athletes. To be able to compete, they still need to be cleared by the IOC's Invitation Review Panel and approved to join the delegation of 169 Russian athletes who will compete as neutrals.

"For us certain things are truly odd", Putin said in televised remarks.

In the 2014 Sochi Olympics doping scandal detailed in a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, investigators discovered that Russian staff involved had developed a method to open supposedly "tamper-proof" sample bottles undetected.

At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a total of 2,925 athletes from 92 countries will compete for a record 102 gold medals.

But for the North Korean athletes, volunteers will take on the flag-hoisting duty.

"It is a hard question", the Kremlin spokesman added, noting Russian officials would continue talking to the IOC.

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