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Three More Russian Athletes Appeal Lifetime Bans From Olympics For Doping

Aleksandr Zubkov, former Olympic champion and president of the Russian bobsledding federation (file photo)

Three more Russian athletes are appealing lifetime bans from the Olympics that were imposed in connection with doping practices uncovered at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has said.

The three are biathlete Olga Zaytseva and cross-country skiers Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko.

Twenty-two Russian athletes had previously announced their intention to appeal sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee, including double Olympic bobsledding champion Aleksandr Zubkov, skeleton gold-medalist Aleksandr Tretiakov, and cross-country skiing gold-medalist Aleksandr Legkov.

The Switzerland-based arbitration court said on December 11 that a procedure had been opened for each athlete. The athletes have requested that the court issue its decisions in the cases before the beginning of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on February 9 in South Korea.

The International Olympic Committee in the run-up to the games in recent weeks has imposed Olympic lifetime bans and otherwise disqualified 25 Russian athletes who competed in the 2014 Olympics, citing their alleged participation in what it said was an organized scheme of doping and cover-ups in Russia during the Sochi games.

The committee has said that its investigation into Russian doping has cleared one athlete, while the cases of 10 other athletes are pending.

Russian athletes who have proved themselves to be drug-free will be allowed to participate in the games as "Olympic Athletes from Russia," but will not be allowed to compete under the Russian flag, under terms set by the committee.

A group of prominent Russian athletes and sports officials said earlier on December 11 that most Russian would-be Olympians are prepared to compete as neutrals and do not want to boycott the games.

To participate, Russian athletes must also receive an invitation to the Pyeongchang games from a panel appointed by the Olympic committee.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and Reuters