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Russian female ice hockey players banned from Olympics for life to attend CAS hearings

The date of the hearings has not been fixed yet

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Russian female ice hockey players banned for life from the Olympics over doping allegations by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will attend the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) hearings, the press service of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation told TASS on Monday.

On January 9, the Swiss-based court announced that it had registered 42 appeals from Russian athletes against decisions made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission to bar them for life from future editions of Olympic Games. Female ice hockey players are among them. The CAS said that it will hold hearings on the appeals between January 22 and 28 and will announce decisions in regard to each athlete before January 31.

"The female ice hockey players banned by the IOC for life from the Olympics will take part in the hearings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The date of the hearings has not been fixed as of yet," the press service said.

The female ice hockey players hit by the ban are Ekaterina Lebedeva, Galina Skiba, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Inna Dyubanok, Tatyana Burina and Anna Shukina.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission earlier made the decision to sanction players from the Russian national women’s ice hockey team and annul the results of the national team coming sixth at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Soch, citing violations of anti-doping regulations. Smolentseva, Pashkevich and Burkina have already ended their sports career.

The world’s governing Olympic body stated that based on the findings of the IOC’s Commission led by Denis Oswald six Russian ice hockey players - Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba, were subjected to sanctions.

According to the IOC, "the six athletes are declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014," and they are also "disqualified from the events in which they participated" at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Under the IOC Executive Board’s decision of December 5, Russian ice hockey players will be performing at the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang under the Olympic flag if two special commissions of the IOC give them a go-ahead. The teams will perform in uniforms without a hockey player emblem and reading "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR).

Late last year, the IOC Disciplinary Commission ruled to cancel results of 43 Russian athletes and barred them for life from Olympics. The decision came after the findings of the IOC special commission, which was led by Denis Oswald and was tasked with the reanalysis of doping samples collected from Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

On December 5, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the whole Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang over multiple doping abuse allegations.

The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia might go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’ The IOC reserved the right to the final word in regard to Russian athletes, who will go to PyeongChang under the neutral status.

The final composition of the Russian delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics will be announced before January 28 by a special IOC panel, chaired by Executive Board’s member Nicole Hoevertsz.

Following the announcement, official invitations will be forwarded to Russian athletes, who were granted the right for competing under the neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on February 9-25.