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Sports minister calls CAS decision on Russian athletes 'unfair'

CAS has dismissed an appeal by 47 Russian athletes and coaches against a ban on participation in the Olympics

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has only accepted the arguments presented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) before dismissing appeals filed by 47 Russian athletes and coaches against a ban on participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS. He added that the decision was unfair.

"The statement of reasons has not been published yet that but it is already clear that CAS only accepted the IOC’s arguments, thus acknowledging that the IOC is totally free to make decisions whether to invite athletes to the Olympic Games or not," Kolobkov said. "Athletes and we all believe this decision to be unfair because athletes will not be allowed to compete at the PyeongChang Games for no particular reason. They are currently holding consultations with their lawyers in order to decide what legal actions to take next," the Russian sports minister added.

The ruling does not change the same court’s decision to lift Olympic life bans from 39 Russian athletes, which is an unequivocal victory, he went on.

"The decision that the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced today, dismissing the appeals filed by the Russian athletes not invited to the Olympic Games, does not change the fact that last week CAS lifted Olympic life bans from 39 athletes, 28 of whom were cleared of all charges. This is the most important victory," Kolobkov pointed out.

On Friday, the CAS Ad hoc Division dismissed the application filed by 32 Russian athletes against the International Olympic Committee, as well as the application filed by 15 Russian athletes and coaches, from whom CAS had earlier lifted life Olympic bans.