Court of Arbitration for Sport to hear case of banned Russian athletes next week

The cases of 39 banned Russian athletes will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on January 22, the judicial body has announced.

Sport’s highest court received appeal applications from all 42 Russians banned by the International Olympic Committee for their part in the country’s state-sponsored doping programme at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and the majority of that group will attend a hearing which starts in Geneva on Monday.

Among those to have filed appeals against their disqualifications from Sochi and life bans from future Games are double bobsleigh gold medallist Aleksandr Zubkov, who has since retired, 50km cross-country champion Alexander Legkov and skeleton champion Alexander Tretyakov.

As well as those four golds, Russia has also lost nine other medals, with other banned athletes including skeleton star Elena Nikitina, who has recently been crowned European and World Cup champion.

The hearing will begin at the International Conference Centre of Geneva at 0930 Swiss time on Monday. Witnesses Dr Grigory Rodchenkov and Richard McLaren are expected to testify by video or telephone conference, CAS said in a statement.

Any decisions are expected to be communicated between January 29 and February 2, with the later date coming just a week before the opening ceremony of this year’s Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

CAS on Wednesday said the cases of three biathletes - Olga Zaytseva, Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova - would not be among those heard next week as the relevant procedures have been "suspended".

The IOC has already suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and announced that only invited Russians - vetted by an anti-doping panel - will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang as neutrals, or more specifically as an ’Olympic Athlete from Russia’.

They will wear uniforms bearing the OAR acronym, compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will be played in any ceremonies. The IOC also banned or suspended several officials and fined the ROC €12.4m.

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