On Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected 45 applications by Russian athletes against the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 45 appeals were challenging IOC’s decision to ban the athletes from participating in this edition of the Winter Olympics, according to a press release issued by CAS. Furthermore, it was noted that IOC did establish eligibility criteria for Russian athletes, who would participate as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”, which the 45 applicants failed to fulfill, as such upholding IOC’s right to decide who can compete.
After two days of hearings, the CAS panel ruled that the commissions that evaluated whether Russian applicants were eligible did not act in a “discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner”, with Russian delegation spokesman Konstantin Vybornov admitting defeat.
Both the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed the decision with IOC noting that the decision “supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes” and WADA hailing the decision as “absolutely correct”.