Russians Appeal Lifelong Olympic Bans Over Doping


"They will be heard during the week in the presence of the parties, but maybe not all the athletes will be present throughout".

One panel of three judges will hear 28 cases, and a second panel will judge 11.

Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow and Sochi anti-doping laboratories, is now living as a protected witness in the United States.

None of the 42 Russian athletes handed lifetime Olympic bans for doping at Sochi remain on the list, with 39 of them set for an appeals hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week in Geneva.

Earlier in December, the IOC made a decision to ban Russian Federation from the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, after an over-17-month IOC investigation "confirmed the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility".

Lawyers representing the athletes said in a statement that they had been banned "despite a lack of specific evidence against any of them and in breach of their fundamental due process rights".

Strict sanctions against Russian Federation were instigated after the former head of Moscow Anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchekov, who fled to the US at the end of 2015, repeatedly accused his home country of systematic doping violations. Russian Federation was finished sixth before being disqualified by the IOC.

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CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said that three speed skaters would be the first of the 39 athletes to address the hearing on Monday.

There are winter coats, tracksuits, and hooded sweaters in gray, as well as an outfit in red with white stripes.

But, clean Russian competitors have been allowed to participate under a neutral flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", among other conditions.

The Russian's claims, which included allegations that he helped athletes to cheat by developing a cocktail of banned drugs known as "The Duchess", or that agents from Russia's security service, the FSB, helped to switch clean urine samples for drug-tainted samples, were corroborated by Professor Richard McLaren in 2016.

The skaters, who must get an International Olympic Committee invitation to compete in South Korea, were reluctant to discuss the issues around Russia's participation. Dozens of Russian athletes banned by the International Olympic Committee for life over doping began an appeal against their suspension today at the world's top sports court.

Russia's deputy prime minister responsible for sport Vitaly Mutko - a key figure in the doping scandal - said last week that he believed around 200 Russians would ultimately be cleared for Pyeongchang.