bans three Russian bobsledders for life over doping
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[November 29, 2017]
LAUSANNE (Reuters) - The
International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday it had banned for
life three Russian bobsledders - Aleksandr Kasyanov, Aleksei
Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin - over doping allegations related to the
2014 Sochi Olympics.
The IOC is re-testing all Russian athletes' samples from the event
after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's discredited
anti-doping laboratory, blew the whistle on what he said was a
state-sponsored doping program.
Russia denies his allegations, saying it is the victim of a
politicized dirty tricks campaign designed to besmirch its
reputation and curb its sporting success.
The IOC's latest move brings the total number of Russian athletes
handed life bans to over 20 this month.
The Kremlin earlier on Wednesday said it would act to protect the
rights of Russian athletes, slamming the bans as part of a broad
anti-Russian campaign in the West.
"We strongly reject all allegations that the state may have been
involved in any way in forcing doping on Russian athletes," Kremlin
spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
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Rodchenkov, who prosecutors in Russia accuse of forcing sportspeople
to resort to doping was "already an odious figure in Russia", Peskov
"Unfortunately, his sponsors and those sheltering him have a tin ear
about this ... And therefore the situation certainly remains
complicated and the interests of our athletes suffer."
The IOC's executive board is due to take a decision in December on
the participation of Russian athletes in the next Olympic Winter
Games in PyeongChang in 2018 based on the findings of an IOC
Disciplinary Commission chaired by Samuel Schmid, a former president
of Switzerland, the IOC said.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Additional reporting and
writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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