32 Russian athletes appeal against suspensions from Olympics
06 Feb 2018, 07:49 ( 06 Feb, 2018) | updated: 06 Feb 2018, 11:01 ( 06 Feb, 2018)
The Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened an arbitration procedure following a last-ditch appeal filed by 32 Russian athletes against their suspensions from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, CAS announced on Tuesday.
"The applicants challenge the IOC decision refusing to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games," said a CAS statement. "They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic Athletes from Russia.
The best known athletes of the group are the six-time short-track Olympic champion, Korean-born Victor Ahn, Sochi 2014 biathlon gold medalist Anton Shipulin and cross-country skiing world champion Sergei Ustyugo.
The other applicants are Vladimir Grigorev, Evgeniy Garanichev, Ruslan Murashov, Ekaterina Shikhova, Ksenia Stolbova, Ekaterina Urlova-Percht, Maksim Tcvetkov, Irina Uslugina, Yulia Shokshueva, Daria Virolainen, Dmitri Popov, Roman Koshelev, Mikhail Naumenkov, Alexei Bereglasov, Valeri Nichushkin, Anton Belov, Sergei Plotnikov, Evgeniya Zakharova, Ruslan Zakharov, Anna Iurakova, Alexey Esin, Yulia Skokova, Elizaveta Kazelina, Sergey Gryaztsov, Ivan Bukin, Denis Arapetyan, Artem Kozlov, Gleb Retivikh and Alexey Volkov.
The late appeal has raised the possibilities that An, who switched his allegiance to Russia in 2011, can wrap up his Olympic career in his native country.
CAS has raised life bans on 28 Russians, among whom 15 applied to take part in the PyeongChang Games last week, only to be refused by the International Olympic Committee.
With Russia banned from PyeongChang, 168 "clean" Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics under a neutral flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia".