Kremlin 'very glad' at lifting of ban on 28 Russian athletes

"With respect to these 28 athletes, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated", the tribunal said.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that it "regrets very much" that the decision did not take "proven existence of systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system into consideration for the other 28 cases".

The Russian Olympic Committee promised to take the IOC decisions to global courts, included human rights, the decisions to stop athletes without possibility to go to the Winter Games of February, sportsmen who never turned out to be involved in any case of doping, without offering any explanation.

With the Winter Games due to open on February 9, the International Olympic Committee had asked the agency to look into the matter after a laboratory in Cologne reported the newer bottles could be opened after being frozen.

The last delegation of North Korean athletes participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics has arrived in South Korea.

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"One can say that there wasn't any system or any sort of manipulation at the Sochi Olympic Games, we've always said that but today the Court of Arbitration for Sport issued such a ruling", said Mutko, who himself is appealing to CAS over his life ban.

But Jim Walden, lawyer for Russia's former anti-doping chief-turned whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, slammed the decision.

"I wish you not to think about anything which has recently accompanied your preparation for these Olympics", Putin told a gathering of athletes at his presidential residence outside Moscow yesterday.

A team of 168 "Olympic Athletes from Russia" was already set to compete in South Korea after being invited by the IOC.

The top organizer of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics said this week that he is hoping for a big turnout of athletes for the joint Korean march at the game's opening ceremony.

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"It is a hard question", the Kremlin spokesman added, noting Russian officials would continue talking to the International Olympic Committee.

At the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a total of 2,925 athletes from 92 countries will compete for a record 102 gold medals.

"It is a hard question", the Kremlin spokesman added, noting Russian officials would continue talking to the IOC.

The IOC also said two athletes, one from each of the Koreas, will be the flag-bearers.

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