28 Russian Athletes Win Appeals of Doping Bans

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned all penalties against 28 of the 43, ruling that “the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an antidoping rule violation was committed by the athletes concerned.”

The court found that 11 of the athletes had broken those rules, and upheld the ban on their competing in Pyeongchang, but it ruled that they could compete in future Olympics. Three appeals are pending, and one of the 43 athletes did not appeal the sanctions.

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28 Russian Athletes Win Appeals of Doping Bans
28 Russian Athletes Win Appeals of Doping Bans

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The ruling “confirms that energetic actions aimed at defending the rights via courts and via other categories are justified, they can be effective and they should continue,” Dmitri S. Peskov, the chief Kremlin spokesman, said in a conference call with reporters.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied or played down any systematic cheating at Sochi. “There were problems with doping in Russia, as in many other countries,” Mr. Peskov said.

Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, told the Russian news agency Interfax, “We insisted from the very start that our athletes are not involved in any doping schemes, and, of course, we are now just happy that their honest name has been reinstated by court and all their awards have been returned to them.”

The court of arbitration, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, noted that it was not passing judgment on “whether there was an organized scheme allowing the manipulation of doping control samples in the Sochi laboratory,” but on the culpability of individual athletes. The court’s authority in doping cases is usually recognized by the I.O.C. and many other international sports bodies.

In its statement, the I.O.C. lamented that the court of arbitration had not taken into account the “proven existence of the systematic manipulation of the antidoping system” by Russia.

Follow Richard Pérez-Peña on Twitter: @perezpena.

Ivan Nechepurenko and Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting.

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