By Fatih Erel
GENEVA (AA) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday overturned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspensions for 28 Russian athletes for doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics, while partially upholding 11 other appeals.
The decision comes just eight days ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"After examining each individual case, the CAS upheld 28 appeals and partially upheld the remaining 11," The Lausanne-based court said in a statement.
CAS said the evidence collected in 28 cases was found to be "insufficient" to prove that the athletes violated the anti-doping rule.
"With respect to these 28 athletes, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated," it said.
The court added that the IOC decisions for the other 11 athletes were confirmed citing "sufficient" evidence collected in each of the cases.
"The IOC decisions in these matters are confirmed, with one exception: the athletes are declared ineligible for the next edition of the Olympic Winter Games instead of a life ban from all Olympic Games," it said.
IOC said in a statement that the result of the CAS decision did not mean that athletes from the group of 28 would be invited to the Games.
"This may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping. Therefore, the IOC will analyze the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal," the Committee said.