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Winter Olympics: ban on 47 Russians upheld

11 February 2018

Russia's desperate attempt to get 45 banned athletes - including several medal favorites - into the Pyeongchang Olympics failed just hours before Friday's opening ceremony.

Later, the man explained that he didn't know much about the doping scandal, but heard that the Russian team had to "compete as neutrals", therefore he made a decision to show support for them and unfold a white, blue and red Russian flag.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed cabinet members to organize alternative games with the same monetary rewards as the ongoing Winter Games, the Vedomosti business daily reported last week.

"I dedicate this bronze medal to all the guys who weren't able to go to these Olympics", said Elistratov, who won gold in the 5000m relay at the 2014 Sochi Games.

"Work on this issue is underway now and such Games are being arranged", he was cited as saying by state-run TASS news agency.

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The Pyeongchang Olympics have begun with a curling competition featuring a showdown between a pair of US siblings and a Russian husband-and-wife team competing in neutral uniforms with no national insignia.

However the International Olympic Committee didn't enforce the ban for all Russian athletes.

But Russia - which is supposed to be a country non grata at the Pyeongchang Olympics because of its outrageous, systematic doping program - is still a very big part of these Winter Games.

Also, the International Olympic Committee said, "there were additional elements and/or evidence, which could not be considered" in last week's CAS case "that raised suspicion about the integrity of these athletes".

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Viktor Ahn and three former National Hockey League players are among 32 Russian athletes who filed appeals Tuesday seeking spots at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to first-team training two days ago, but the Manchester United striker will not be ready for the trip. Slimani arrived on Tyneside with a thigh problem, and he will be assessed today ahead of the Manchester United game.

The ruling comes a day after the first Olympic competitions began and ends more than a week of uncertainty for two groups of athletes who lodged last-ditch cases to the CAS.

The IOC has refused to comment on individual Russian athletes but says it decided who to exclude using a newly obtained Moscow laboratory database with evidence of past doping offenses.

WADA's headquarters were illuminated in the colors of the Russian flag and showed words of support for Russian athletes who have been accused of doping violations. "That was within the IOC's discretion, and they didn't exercise it arbitrarily". Russia's flag will not fly at the Olympics, and its anthem will not be played at any medal ceremonies. "The IOC and CAS have been complicit in enabling Russian doping", Walden said in a statement.

"The Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation obviously were a major focus for both the pre-Games taskforce and now at the Games", he said. I was hoping that CAS would take our side.

"Today's decision by the CAS.is a small semblance of justice for clean athletes".

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The barred Russian athletes, however, are still considering their legal options.

Winter Olympics: ban on 47 Russians upheld