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On Eve of World Championships, CAS Rejects Russian Athletes’ Appeals

On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced it rejected the appeals of five Russian cross-country skiers — Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov — regarding their provisional suspensions handed down by the International Ski Federation (FIS) Doping Panel on Jan. 25 and Feb. 6.

The five athletes had appealed in hopes of competing at 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti, Finland, which start in earnest on Thursday.

In Dec. 22, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened investigations against those athletes based on evidence of urine-sample tampering or sample manipulation during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, information that came from the second McLaren report. That same day, the FIS Doping Panel issued provisional suspensions for those athletes, and those suspensions were confirmed Jan. 25 and Feb. 6.

“The decisions issued today are given in response to requests for provisional measures filed during the course of the athletes’ appeal arbitration procedures before the CAS,” a CAS press release stated. “The arbitration procedures are still ongoing and the parties are currently exchanging written submissions and the process of appointing the arbitrators who will decide the matters is underway. At this early stage of the proceedings, it is not possible to determine when the final decisions will be issued.”

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