Just days before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics, it remains unclear who will be competing. The fifteen Russians who were not invited to participate in PyeongChang despite the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) having overturned their life-long doping ban filed a second urgent application to the court.
The court, which is based in Lausanne, announced on Wednesday that it "has opened a new urgent procedure for 15 Russian athletes and coaches against the International Olympic Committee (IOC)". The athletes are challenging the IOC’s refusal to invite them to participate in the Winter Games in PyeongChang this month. They are requesting that the CAS overturn the IOC’s decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic athletes from Russia.
Among the complainants is the cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, a crowned Olympic champion at the 2014 Sochi Games.
On Wednesday afternoon, the CAS will also be hearing the appeal of 32 other Russian athletes who were not invited by the IOC. Among them is the short-track speed skater Viktor Ahn, a six-time Olympic champion and a legend in the sport. Born in South Korea, Ahn acquired Russian citizenship just before Sochi 2014 and was tipped to be one of the big stars of this year’s event.
According to an official IOC figure, 168 Russian athletes currently deemed "clean" will be participating in the Olympics in PyeongChang, but under a neutral flag. Russia was suspended over an institutionalized, government-funded doping system and the systematic manipulation of anti-doping tests.