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Mutko wins appeal of lifetime ban

The Associated PressLAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Vitaly Mutko, who was Russia’s Sports Minister during the doping-tainted Winter Olympics in Sochi, won an appeal on Thursday against his lifetime ban from the Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the International Olympic Committee didn’t have the power to sanction Mutko in 2017 because he wasn’t an athlete, coach or officially part of an Olympic delegation.

However, the CAS ruling doesn’t force the IOC to invite Mutko to any future Olympics.

CAS also didn’t rule on whether the widespread doping in Russian sport was state-backed, or whether Mutko was responsible for it. An IOC investigation in 2017 found Mutko should bear overall responsibility for misconduct on his watch.

Mutko has vehemently denied any role in doping athletes, and said Russia didn’t operate a doping program in Sochi in 2014. He told state news agency RIA Novosti he was “satisfied” with the ruling, but didn’t say whether he would try to attend next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

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