Russian athletes appeal doping bans in hopes of competing in Pyeongchang

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Russia's foreign ministry said on Wednesday any allegations that Russian hackers have attacked infrastructure connected to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games are unfounded.

The CAS, sport's highest court, ruled last Thursday there was insufficient evidence to uphold suspensions imposed by the International Olympic Committee on the 28 Russians after an investigation into state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 13 active athletes and two retired athletes working in support roles were among 28 athletes whose bans were overturned by CAS on Thursday.

The hearing came less than a week after the Swiss-based CAS, citing insufficient evidence, lifted the lifetime bans for 28 Russian athletes and coaches for doping violations at the 2014 Games.

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.

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CAS partially upheld the remaining 11 appeals.

Instead, 48 hours before the Olympic cauldron is lit amid frigid temperatures in the Taebaek Mountains the IOC finds itself on the defensive in the face of continued criticism of its handling the Russian doping controversy while also reeling from last week's CAS decision.

A Russian lawmaker, Konstantin Kosachev, on Monday called for a revision of the statutory documents of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to prevent the crisis of the "entire international Olympic movement".

Among the athletes making the case is South Korea-born Victor Ahn, the most decorated short-track speedskater in Olympic history with six gold medals.

Bach said that Olympic officials had asked CAS for an explanation for their ruling and had been told no full accounting would be released until the end of February.

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"We have to change and learn from this hard situation", Bach said.

Adams said that the IOC's invitation revue panel will examine each case individually before making a decision but promised that would happen before the Games get underway.

The IOC president also hinted that the North's participation at the Games has served as a catalyst in easing security and geopolitical tensions in the region.

"As always, WADA is committed to doing what's necessary to ensure a level playing field for clean athletes of the world and, as a result, we take these reports seriously", said WADA's director general Olivier Niggli. The IOC reserved the right to the final word in regard to Russian athletes, who will go to PyeongChang under the neutral status.

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