Olympics: More Russians appeal Pyeongchang exclusion to CAS

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) – Thirty-two Russian athletes appealed their Pyeongchang Olympics exclusion by the International Olympic Committee over a doping scandal in their country, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Tuesday.

The IOC has invited only 169 carefully screened Russian athletes who will compete as independents after the nation was banned over the Sochi 2014 doping scandal from the Games starting this week.

Among the 32 appealing their Olympic bans are multiple Olympic champion speed skater Viktor Ahn and biathlon gold medalist Anton Shipulin.

CAS said a hearing was likely to be held on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony of the Games.

Even if the athletes’ appeal was successful it was highly unlikely for any of them to compete in South Korea.

CAS last week ruled there was “insufficient evidence” of anti-doping violations against 28 Russian athletes, who had also appealed their IOC sanctions, and cleared them to compete.

The IOC, however, has refused to invite them, noting there was evidence about the athletes that had not been available to the IOC commission that had investigated them.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly