2018 Winter Olympics: IOC rejects request for 15 reinstated Russian athletes

If you're still trying to figure out whether Russia is fully banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics, don't worry, because so is everyone involved with the Olympics.

Less than a week after the International Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned lifetime Olympic bans for 28 different Russian athletes, all of whom had been sanctioned for alleged performance-enhancing drug use at the 2014 Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has formally rejected a request for 15 of those 28 athletes to participate in Pyeongchang this month.

This is according to the Associated Press, which reported this week that the IOC is citing "as-yet unpublished new evidence" of Russian doping to keep the athletes from the 2018 Winter Olympics. The IOC, of course, is the organization that first barred any and all Russian representation from this year's Games after years of investigations into "state-backed doping."

Both Russian president Vladimir Putin and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev have already denounced the IOC decision, saying they "expected that the CAS (appeals court) decision would dispel all suspicions against the athletes."

Unless the IOC revokes its rejection of the 15 Russians, however, the previously suspended athletes figure to stay home rather than travel to South Korea. Among those 15, according to the AP, are two gold-medal winners from the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Officially, Russia won't be receiving any credit for any medals in Pyeongchang anyway. Those were among the stipulations of IOC's December ruling on Russia's status for the 2018 Winter Games. More than 165 of the country's athletes are already set to compete in South Korea, but they will do so in neutral uniforms and, at least on paper, without any affiliation to Russia.

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