CAS registers lawsuits from 22 Russian athletes against lifetime Olympic bans

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered 22 cases from Russian athletes against their lifetime Olympic bans and the annulment of their records at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The cases were received just one day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disqualified Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, AP reports.

The IOC took the decision to ban Russia from sending a team to the Games, but says it will permit Russian athletes who have never been found guilty of doping - and have undergone stricter doping tests since April - to compete as independent athletes under a neutral flag.

The 22 athletes, which includes Sochi gold medalist Alexander Zubkov, Alexander Legkov and Aleksandr Tretyakov, are understood to have requested that the CAS make a decision on their cases before the Pyeongchang Games open on February 9.

Following the IOC verdict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged Russia to ‘exclude emotions’ in reaction to the decision, in anticipation of further contact with the organization on any future action.

“Now of course, we need to exclude emotion and seriously analyze the decision made in relation to our country, before making any judgement on it,” Peskov told journalists, TASS reported. 

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“We are faced with answering a series of issues, which will demand contact with the IOC. We must determine how and by whom this contact will be carried out. A series of other technical issues are also subject to clarification,” he added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, that the ban on Russia is part of “a massive offensive” to “isolate” the country.