The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed appeals made by 45 Russian athletes and two coaches against their exclusion from PyeongChang 2018.
Reading a prepared statement hours before the Opening Ceremony, CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said: “The CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision.”
Last week, CAS upheld appeals from 28 Russians against life bans from the Olympic Games imposed for doping offences committed at Sochi 2014.
Fifteen of those went again to CAS to try and gain permission to compete at PyeongChang 2018.
Russia’s Olympic Committee was banned from the Games last December in the wake of the Sochi doping conspiracy which the IOC described an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”.
Having satisfied strict anti-doping screening, 168 athletes will participate at PyeongChang as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) in neutral uniforms and under the Olympic flag.