AZUZ: With the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics just weeks away, the Court of Arbitration for Sport is about to get very busy. That's the court of appeals and that dozens of Russian athletes who were banned from competing in the games are hoping the Court of Arbitration can clear their names and allow them to take part in the Olympics.
After an investigation into alleged doping, illegally taking drugs to perform better, the International Olympic Committee banned 43 Russian athletes for life. Forty-two of them are appealing. Many of them say they're part of, quote, collective punishment against Russia, a nation that's historically been an Olympic powerhouse. The country has repeatedly denied that it had a doping program for its athletes, but investigators say Russia had a system that allowed hundreds of athletes to cheat.
The entire Russian Olympic Committee has been suspended from the 2018 Winter Games so any banned athletes who are cleared will not be allowed to compete under the Russian flag or the Russian national anthem.
After almost three days of being partially shut down, the U.S. government was expected to reopen last night. Legislation to temporarily fund the government and keep it from shutting down had been held up in the Senate, where Democrats used a filibuster to block it. They mainly wanted an immigration agreement to be reached before they move forward with government funding. Republicans who control the Senate with a slim majority wanted the government to reopen before negotiations on immigration continue.
Yesterday, the two sides reached what was called an arrangement. Republican leaders promised that the Senate would consider an immigration bill in February and most Democrats then voted to end the filibuster, leading to the reopening of the government. The tally was 81 in favor of moving forward, to 18 against.
The shutdown was set to end after the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House all signed off on the funding legislation.