2018 Winter Olympics: 22 banned Russian athletes appeal for reinstatement

As Russia reels from its ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics, the BBC reported Wednesday that 22 of its athletes have appealed to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn their retroactive bans from the 2014 Sochi Olympics,

During an executive International Olympic Committee meeting Tuesday, Russia was barred entirely from the PyeongChang Winter Games with the exception of any athletes who "receive special dispensation," as The New York Times noted, by proving they did not partake in widespread performance-enhancing drug use. And that's exactly what the 22 appealing athletes, including 11 medal winners from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, are attempting to obtain. From the BBC report: 

The 22 athletes banned in the wake of the 2014 Games have requested [the Court] makes its decision before the 2018 edition begins in February.

If the athletes are to be reinstated, it remains to be seen whether their 2014 medals would officially count. Even though the medals have been rescinded, apparently none of the Russian athletes have returned them to be redistributed.

If reinstated, any participation in the 2018 Games, however, would come without Russian representation -- the IOC announced in its Tuesday ruling that those who prove a clean track record can participate in the PyeongChang competition, albeit with neutral uniforms, and competing under the Olympic flag. 

In total, 25 different Russian athletes had been banned from the 2014 Olympics prior to the country being barred from the 2018 Games altogether. Those sanctions stemmed from a long-alleged, state-backed doping operation -- a system that was essentially confirmed through IOC's decision to ban Russia this week.

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