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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has declined a request to invite 15 Russian athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The 13 active athletes and two working in a support role belong to a group of 28, who were earlier banned for doping, but their ban had been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday. According to a statement released by the IOC on Monday, the 15 athletes have been denied an invite to the games, because the CAS's decision to overturn their ban "had not been made public." It read, "The decision of the CAS had not lifted the suspicion of doping, or given the panel sufficient confidence to recommend ... those 13 athletes could be considered as clean." It further stated that the two coaches "should not be considered for an invitation" because of previous evidence available to the IOC. Friday's opening of the Games has now been clouded by the decision of the CAS and the subsequent rejection by the IOC. IOC President Thomas Bach has called the CAS ruling "extremely disappointing and surprising" and said the Olympic body needed to see the "reasoned decisions" from the CAS. The court had said those might not be ready until the end of the month. "We would never have expected this," Bach said as uncertainty lingers over the Russian athletes. "We feel that this decision shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS." "We only know about the reasons from a very few sentences in a press release," Bach added. "So far the panel was not able to produce a reasoned decision which we are eagerly waiting for." The IOC has taken the decision to invite 169 Russians to compete in Pyeongchang as 'Olympic Athletes from Russia' under a neutral flag and has said it has a right to review and appeal the CAS decision. (Source Article: http://www.thehindu.com/sport/ioc-rejects-request-to-invite-15-russian-athletes-whose-bans-were-overturned/article22656283.ece)