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The ruling means that the athletes' results at the 2014 Olympics have also been reinstated.

The cases of a further three Russian Olympians - Olga Zaytseva, Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova - have been "suspended" while the 43rd, Bobsleigher Maxim Belugin, did not lodge an appeal with Cas.

In addition to clearing the 28, CAS also lifted the life bans of another 11 Russians but barred them from competing at Pyeongchang.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year's best sports stories.

"With regard to the participation of athletes from Russian Federation at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the decision of the IOC Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place".

A statement by CAS on Thursday said the bans were overturned and the results reinstated after appeals by the athletes were upheld by the tribunal on Thursday.

He would have been the only skeleton coach for the Russians, who will compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" under the Olympic flag in Pyeongchang as part of the IOC's sanctions for doping.

CAS, world sport's highest appeals court, started proceedings with hearings last week in Geneva, which included testimony from whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory who now lives at a secret location in the United States.

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Nikitina - who wore her Russian national team jacket to a training session just outside of Moscow on Thursday after the CAS decision came out - is now in position to keep her bronze medal, although the International Olympic Committee said it may take the highly unusual step of appealing CAS' decision to the Swiss supreme court.

The ruling provided "a very small measure of punishment for some athletes but a complete "get-out-of-jail-free card" for most", lawyer Jim Walden said.

Among the athletes who have not received an invitation to the Olympics were biathlonist Anton Shipulin, short tracker Victor An, skier Sergei Ustyugov and other leaders of the Russian national team in different sports.

He said that Rodchenkov "testified fully and credibly" at CAS and his evidence was verified by forensic evidence and other whistle-blowers.

He added: "The CAS decision only emboldens cheaters, makes it harder for clean athletes to win, and provides yet another ill-gotten gain for the corrupt Russian doping system generally, and Putin specifically". Two CAS appeal panels heard 39 of those cases last week in Geneva.

"Therefore, the International Olympic Committee will analyse the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available and consider consequences, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal".

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Mutko welcomed the acquittal of the 28 Russian athletes and said he had no doubt that they won their medals fairly.

They can not wave the Russian flag at the event and, if they win, the Russian anthem will not be played.

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