January 18, 2018 / 12:45 AM / a year ago

Doping: CAS to hear appeals from 39 banned Russians next week

The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is pictured in Lausanne, Switzerland, November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - The cases of 39 Russian athletes given lifetime Olympic bans following doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games will be heard next week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday.

CAS said in a statement the hearings would begin on Monday in Geneva and run into the weekend, with verdicts being issued sometime the following week.

CAS said it received applications from 42 of the 43 Russians who were banned by the IOC Disciplinary Commission and that the cases involving three biathletes had been suspended and would not be heard next week.

Maxim Belugin, part of the two and four-man bobsleigh teams which finished fourth at Sochi 2014, is the only banned athlete not to have lodged an appeal.

Grigory Rodchenkov, Russia’s former anti-doping chief who turned whistleblower, and Richard McLaren, the Canadian sports lawyer who sat on the independent commission that exposed doping and corruption in Russian athletics, are expected to testify by video or telephone.

The athletes were among 42 disqualified from events, banned from participating in future Olympics and in some cases stripped of their medals following the International Olympic Committee’s investigation of widespread doping in Sochi exposed by an independent report for the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The IOC last month banned Russia from the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Games as a result of its “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system, though individual athletes will be able to compete effectively as neutrals if they can prove their anti-doping credentials.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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