Russian skiers get life bans over Sochi Games doping
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[November 02, 2017]
By Karolos Grohmann
BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia's cross
country gold medalist Alexander Legkov and compatriot Evgeniy Belov
were banned from the Olympics for life on Wednesday over doping at
the Sochi 2014 winter Games, the International Olympic Committee
The two athletes were the first Russians to be sanctioned for
anti-doping rule violations following an IOC investigation into
allegations of widespread doping among Russians and sample tampering
by lab and security officials to give them the edge.
Legkov won gold in the 50km and a silver medal in the 4x10km relay
event. The IOC said all of Russia's 4x10km team would be
disqualified given Legkov's violation.
Belov, who competed in the men's skiathlon 15+15km mass start event
and the 15km classic country skiing event, did not medal at the
Legkov could not be immediately reached by Reuters for a comment.
The IOC did not specify what kind of anti-doping rule violation the
skiers had committed but said both of them were "ineligible to be
accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games...
subsequent to the Sochi Olympic winter Games."
It said more decisions would follow in the coming days as the
disciplinary commission led by IOC member Denis Oswald completes its
investigation into Russian competitors in Sochi.
Russia's cross country skiing federation said it was preparing an
"The federation has already begun preparing documents for an appeal
to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," it said in a
statement. "Federation president Elena Valbe and other employees of
the federation will not give further comments."
The IOC is re-testing all Russian athletes' samples from the 2014
Games following revelations by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head
of Moscow's discredited anti-doping laboratory, of a scheme to cover
up home competitors' positive samples.
[to top of second column]
Russian gold medalist Alexander Legkov celebrates as he receives his
medal for the men's cross-country 50-kilometer mass start race
during the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics,
Russia, February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
The Sochi scandal is part of a wider doping affair in Russia that
has led to the suspension of the country's anti-doping agency and an
international ban for track and field athletes.
The IOC has set up two commissions to investigate Sochi.
The one led by Oswald is in charge of looking into alleged doping
violations by individual Russian athletes.
The second investigation is chaired by former Switzerland President
Samuel Schmid and is looking into allegations of institutionalized
doping in Russia.
The IOC has said it will decide during its executive board meeting
being held from Dec. 5-7 on the participation of Russian competitors
at the Pyeongchang winter Olympics in February.
Calls from some athletes and anti-doping agencies for a blanket ban
of Russians in Pyeongchang have been growing louder in recent weeks.
Russian track and field athletes were banned from the Rio de Janeiro
summer Games following the doping affair.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Additional reporting by Gabrielle
Tetrault-Farber in Moscow; Editing by Catherine Evans and Ken
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