Russian Federation starts kitting out Olympic athletes in neutral uniforms

Russians get neutral uniforms

The mass hearing, less than three weeks before the start of 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, is an extraordinary session for CAS and forced the court to temporarily move from its small headquarters in Lausanne to a large conference centre in Geneva. "This shows that this is a new generation of Russian athletes".

"Now, I think everything will be fine", Fatkulina, a silver medallist in Sochi, told reporters.

"The athletes are hopeful that the CAS Panels will grant them a fair hearing".

A further three appeal cases in biathlon will not be heard next week, the court said.

Based on the testimony of former head of Moscow Anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov, the report was used by the International Investigative Commissions chaired by Denis Oswald and Samuel Schmid, who were tasked with investigating alleged doping violations in Russian Federation.

He was the key whistleblower who exposed the cheating programme that International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has described as an "unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympics".But Rodchenkov will not testify in person.

Rodchenkov will appear via video-link from the United States, where he fled in 2016 saying he feared for his life.

A Russian lawyer said An's inclusion in the report was "unexpected" because he was not on a list of Russian competitors already barred from the Games over the scandal.

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Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov later slammed the International Olympic Committee ban as "controversial".

The IOC took its action after its own inquiry confirmed evidence revealed in two separate WADA investigations.

Verdicts are expected by Friday, Feb. 2, one week before the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea.

The Russian flag and anthem, however, are still banned at the games. The IOC has banned Russian Federation from the 2018 Games.

Russia's short track speed skating star Victor An has been banned from next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after being implicated in allegations of state-sponsored doping, Russian media reported on Monday.

"And it's obvious that Dr Rodchenkov is at or near the top of the Russian hate list".

However, the IOC left the door open for Russian athletes with a clean doping history to be invited to compete as neutrals under an Olympic flag.

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