MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Moscow city court has refused to recognize the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to find head of Russian Bobsled Federation (RBS) Alexander Zubkov guilty of violating anti-doping rules during the 2014 Winder Olympic Games in Sochi, sports lawyer Artyom Patsev told TASS on Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission chaired by Denis Oswald earlier found Zubkov guilty of violating anti-doping rules and annulled his two gold medals in the Sochi Olympics, banning him from competing in the Olympic Games for life. CAS supported this decision but softened the lifelong suspension and banned Zubkov only from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.
"The court reviewed Zubkov's objections against recognizing him as a violator of anti-doping rules on the Russian territory - as a Russian citizen, he is most concerned with this. The Russian court did not cancel or change the CAS decision, as it has no authority to do so. Basing on the text of the CAS ruling, the Russian court recognized that for such severe punishment as annulling Olympic gold medals and such serious accusations as violation of the anti-doping rules, the little amount of evidence provided in the CAS decision is definitely not sufficient," Patsev said.
"The resolutive part of CAS decisions, as everybody knows, consists of several points. The first and foremost is to recognize him as a violator of rules. The second point which follows directly from the first, is to disqualify medals, diplomas and other awards won by Zubkov himself and all members of his crew. The second part requires obligatory enforcement. The first part [about recognizing Zubkov as a violator] is recognized automatically on the Russian territory, in accordance with the New York convention, if no objections are raised. However, Zubkov did raise objections," Patsev said.
"When it comes to the most asked question of returning medals, IOC representatives announced publicly in court today that they have not yet contacted Zukov with a demand to return his medals and that they don't know whether they will do it at all. Zubkov said in turn: 'Contact me, I will either object or return them voluntarily'," the lawyer explained.