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RUSSIA

Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban

Forty-seven Russians implicated in doping lost a last-minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony.

Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to Pyeongchang.
   
“The applications filed by Russian athletes and coaches have been dismissed,” the CAS said in a statement.
   
The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned but a certain number of “clean” Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.
   
Fifteen of those who lost their bids on Friday were among a group of 28 who controversially had life bans from the Olympics overturned last week by CAS, which cited insufficient evidence.
  
The other 32, including An, biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov, a cross-country skiing world champion, were omitted from the list of Russians invited to Pyeongchang.
   
“In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision,” CAS said.
   
However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter. A source close to the IOC has told AFP that the 47 Russians have also lodged a case with a Swiss civil court in Lausanne.
   
A spokesman for the neutral Russian team, the 'Olympic Athletes from Russia', declined to comment when approached by AFP.

RUSSIA

Scandal-hit Kaspersky to move infrastructure from Russia to Switzerland

Russian anti-virus software firm Kaspersky Lab, which is suspected by US authorities of helping the Kremlin's espionage efforts, said Tuesday it was moving its core infrastructure and operations to Switzerland.

Scandal-hit Kaspersky to move infrastructure from Russia to Switzerland
US government workers were last year ordered to stop using Kaspersky anti-virus software. Photo: AFP

The transfer “includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates,” said Kaspersky, whose software protects some 400 million computers worldwide.

Read also: Why a Zurich lawyer is being targeted in Russiagate

“To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland,” it added.

The move follows controversy in the United States last year when the federal government removed Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors, weeks after senior US intelligence agency and law enforcement officials expressed concerns about the safety of its software.

US government workers were ordered to stop using Kaspersky anti-virus software.

Kaspersky denied that its products had “backdoors” which would allow Russian intelligence agencies to spy on computers using its software, and said it would take measures to reassure customers about the safety of its products.

By the end of this year, the production of its anti-virus software will be shifted to Zurich and a data centre will be built there next year where information on most non-Russian customers will be stored.

Development and data storage for the Russian market will remain in Russia, a Kaspersky executive told the AFP news agency.