Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov at a press conference in Moscow about the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to lift bans on 28 Russian athletes. Photo: VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images

28 Russian athletes had their Olympic doping bans overturned Thursday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled there’s a lack of evidence proving the athletes had broken rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The ruling, which comes nearly a week before the start of this year’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang, means the athletes’ results in Sochi will stand.

What’s next: The athletes could now determine whether to seek approval to participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee reportedly said this doesn’t mean the athletes will automatically get an invitation. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said the government would consider legal action to allow the 28 athletes to compete in the upcoming Games.

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