Blow to Russian Federation as CAS rejects appeals on eve of Olympics

Kim Yo-jong is seen standing behind US Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony

South Korea-born Ahn is the most decorated short-track speedskater in Olympic history with six gold medals.

Sergeeva told The Associated Press that she isn't training with her doping-themed shirt as a protest, but because her usual Russian Federation uniform would break the new International Olympic Committee rules.

The IOC welcome the decision in a statement, saying it "supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".

The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned.

Friday's ruling related to two separate cases, one involving 32 athletes and another involving 15 individuals, 13 of them athletes, two of them coaches.

The IOC confirmed that only athletes who have "fulfilled the pre-games testing requirements", including the IRP's criteria, "as well as the required reanalysis from stored samples", would be allowed to compete at the Games.

"It's clearly disappointing we're still talking about this on the eve of the Winter Games", said Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association.

While 169 Russians passed the rigorous screening process and were invited to the 2018 Winter Games, many more Russian athletes believed they had been unfairly excluded and turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to gain admission to the Olympic Games. Media outlets have reported that after the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" were announced in Korean, French and English, the stadium burst into delight, spurring much buzz across the place.

Besides a few Russian fans making the journey to South Korea, another group is waiting for the OARs - the drug testers.

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Despite the impact of their information, the Stepanovs and Rodchenkov have fled to the United States for fear of their lives and gone into hiding after they were branded traitors in Russian Federation. Ilya Kovalchuk, Russian worldwide ice-hockey player, confessed that he was deeply touched by such a warm welcome.

But dozens of Russian athletes who had hoped to compete under the neutral flag were deemed ineligible by the world Olympic body. "I think it is a strong, positive message".

"We're disappointed with the CAS decision. we believed in better but received this instead". "But our athletes are here to compete and they have to win".

Russian figure skater Evgenia Tarasova said: "It is sad, of course".

"In the KHL we have lots of players on first lines - forwards and defencemen", Vladislav Tretyak, a former Soviet-era goaltender who is now president of the Russian hockey federation, told Reuters.

The team's outfits, consisting of plain grey jackets and jeans with white scarves and beanies, were "unpretentious, easygoing, not trying too hard".

"Given all the pre-Games madness, OAR could have just given up on the clothes, wandered out there in sweatpants and a backwards baseball cap". Most troubling of all, the International Olympic Committee has signaled loud and clear that it will allow Russian Federation to march under its own flag at the closing ceremony, issuing a vaguely worded edict that should've been served with a hefty helping of Swiss cheese.

The other 32, including three-time Games gold medallist An, were also left off the list of Russians invited to Pyeongchang.

The WADA investigation continued on into the next year when a Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren released a two-part report highlighting a state-sponsored doping system in Russian Federation.

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