International Olympic Committee mistakenly invited banned Russian to Olympics as coach

Russian speed skater Graf rejects Olympics invitation to compete as neutral athlete

Twenty-eight Russian athletes have had their life Olympic doping bans overturned and their results from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi reinstated after their appeals were upheld by sport's highest tribunal.

Chudinov, a former Russian skeleton racer, had been listed as an accredited coach for next week's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang despite being banned by the International Olympic Committee for life following doping violations during Sochi 2014.

A figure skating pair are among 10 North Korean athletes who have arrived in South Korea for the Winter Olympics.

CAS said it found "insufficient" evidence that 28 of the athletes had broken anti-doping rules at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Around 50 protesters took to the streets of the capital in sub-zero conditions to protest against the involvement of North Korea in the winter games which begin on 8 February in the Pyeongchang region.

Russia remains banned from entering a team in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee, but the IOC has cleared almost 170 Russian nationals to compete as neutrals.

The exonerated group were among 42 Russians - bobsleighers, cross-country skiers, competitors in the skeleton and ice hockey players - to appeal their bans.

"Not being sanctioned (for doping) does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation".

Olympic Committee Hopeful PyeongChang Olympic Tickets Will Sell Out
They took testimony from Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren, who did not attend in person.

"For us certain things are truly unusual", Putin said in televised remarks.

The Swiss-based court said there was insufficient evidence to show that certain Russian athletes had broken anti-doping rules.

The IOC warned that CAS's verdict "may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping".

Bans on three members of Russia's second unit in the men's four-man bob are among the 11 whose bans have been partially upheld, which means Great Britain's upgrade to bronze is confirmed.

Russian officials - who have repeatedly denied state involvement in doping, despite the evidence - were quick to express satisfaction over the decision to clear the 28 athletes.

The Russian doping scandal has been a huge stain on recent Kremlin history and an embarrassment for the Russian public as sports has been epic for Moscow since the Soviet days.

A statement from Rodchenkov's lawyers, quoted by the BBC, called the CAS decision a "complete "get out of jail free card" for most" of the athletes.

Russian athletes are competing in the Winter Olympics as neutrals, after the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from them over systematic doping.

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