Russia toppled from Sochi 2014 medals first place but final count
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[November 28, 2017]
By Karolos Grohmann
BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia have been
knocked off the medals top spot for the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics
after five more athletes received lifetime Games bans on Monday over
doping violations at those Olympics, but the final medal count could
be months or even years away.
This month a total of 19 Russians have been banned from the Games
for life as a result of an International Olympic Committee (IOC)
investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russian
competitors and sample tampering by laboratory and security
officials at the Sochi Games.
Gold medal-winning bobsledders Dmitrii Trunenkov and Aleksei
Negodailo, members of the winning four-man team, as well as biathlon
relay silver medalists Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina, who also
won silver in the 7.5 km event, were the latest to be sanctioned by
the IOC on Monday.
Russia, a winter sports powerhouse, were top of the medals table at
the end of the Games on home soil in 2014 but the latest IOC
decision now brings their number of gold medals at events down to
Those already banned include double gold medalist bobsledder
Alexander Zubkov, Olympic skeleton champion Alexander Tretyakov as
well as six cross-country skiers.
While the IOC has ordered the return of the medals, Russian sports
officials have pledged to appeal the bans and take their case to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
It is unlikely that Russians will get any medals back with the IOC
saying on Monday that the doping samples had been clearly tampered
with, in its published reasoning on the first athlete to have been
banned in this process.
But they can be hopeful of potentially overturning the lifetime
Olympic bans, with CAS having thrown out previous attempts to ban
past drugs cheats from future Olympics.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) laughs with Russia's gold
medallist bobsleigh athlete Alexander Zubkov during the closing
ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 23, 2014.
REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo
The IOC and the British Olympic Association had tried to pass such
Olympic bans ahead of the 2012 London Games but both efforts were
thwarted by CAS.
It will no doubt further delay the process and can ultimately lead
to medals being reallocated years later as is often the case.
The IOC told Reuters that with each case being different and
involving several international sports federations as well as
appeals, giving a specific date by when all Sochi Games medals will
have been decided was not possible at this stage.
Australian race walker Jared Tallent received his London 2012
Olympics 50-km gold medal in 2016 after Russian winner Sergey
Kirdyapkin was stripped of his medal for doping.
But it could also be the case that the IOC decides not to reallocate
some medals, as they did with disgraced U.S. sprinter Mario Jones's
100m gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In 2007 the IOC stripped all five of Jones' Sydney Games track and
field medals but refused to reallocate her 100m sprint gold to
silver medalist Katerina Thanou of Greece, who was herself
disqualified for doping offences at the 2004 Games.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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