The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed an appeal by 47 Russian athletes and coaches against a ban on participation in the Winter Olympics.
The Russians had argued that they had been wrongfully excluded from the Games by the International Olympic Committee.
The decision was made just hours before Friday’s opening ceremony.
It comes amid a long-running row over Russian doping which has seen the country banned from the games, but 169 Russians will compete as independents.
The group contesting the decision included 28 athletes who had life bans from the Olympics lifted by the IOC last week, when CAS ruled there was insufficient evidence they had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping.
In the aftermath of that decision, the IOC decided not to extend an invitation to those with overturned bans – saying the decision “had not lifted the suspicion of doping”.
That led to a last-minute appeal for entry on Wednesday and Thursday.