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Russian Ex-Sports Minister Wins Olympic Doping Appeal

Former Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (file photo)
Former Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (file photo)

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was sports minister during the doping-tainted 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, has won an appeal against his lifetime ban from the Olympic games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on July 11 that eight days earlier it had ruled that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) didn't have the power to sanction Mutko because he wasn't an athlete, coach, or officially part of an Olympic delegation.

Allegations of widespread abuse of performance-enhancing drugs among Russia's top athletes have tarnished its successes at the 2014 Winter Olympics, which Russia hosted.

In December 2017, in response to the doping scandal, the IOC announced it was banning Mutko from participating in future Olympics.

Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in connection with the doping scandal, but 168 of its athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals.

Russia was reinstated by the IOC three days after the Games.

Neutrals were allowed to compete under the Olympic banner, not the Russian flag.

They were designated as Olympic Athletes from Russia and wore a uniform with that designation.

Mutko, who has vehemently denied the existence of a state-backed doping program, said hours after the CAS decision was made public that he was "satisfied" with the ruling.

Mutko, 60, has been a longtime sports-policy adviser to President Vladimir Putin.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, TASS, and RIA Novosti
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