28 Russians have Olympic doping bans lifted


MOSCOW (AP) — Twenty-eight Russian athletes had their Olympic doping bans overturned today, throwing the International Olympic Committee's policy on the country into turmoil.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling was set to reinstate seven Russian medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including gold in men's skeleton and men's 50-kilometer cross-country skiing.

"This does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent, but in their case, due to insufficient evidence, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi are reinstated," CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said in Pyeongchang.

The IOC said it had taken note of the CAS decision "with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other," adding the decision "may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping."

The 28 who had their bans lifted could now seek late entry into the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the IOC said "not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the ruling "can't fail to please us, and it confirms our position that the overwhelming majority of our athletes are clean athletes."

Putin, however, also called for respect for the IOC, saying in comments reported by state news agency RIA Novosti that "there should not be any euphoria from our side and we need to be calm about this."

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