MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a decision of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to suspend four Russian athletes over alleged anti-doping violations, a spokesperson for WADA told TASS on Wednesday.
The IBSF announced on January 16 that three Russian bobsledders, namely Alexander Kasyanov, Ilvir Khuzin and Alexei Pushkarev, were slapped with two-year suspensions until 2020 for violating anti-doping rules during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The IBSF also suspended from all sports-related activities until 2020 former RBF (Russian Bobsleigh Federation) President Alexander Zubkov citing the same violations.
"There is an appeal filed by WADA against the four athletes, plus IBSF: we already have four appeals by each of the four athletes against the IBSF," the spokesperson stated.
"No hearing date has been fixed yet," the spokesperson for the global anti-doping regulator added.
According to TASS information, WADA decided to file an appeal with the court in Lausanne since it believed that the previously handed two-year suspension for the Russian bobsledders was insufficient.
Commenting on the recent news, Zubkov told TASS: "Yes, I do know that WADA has submitted an appeal against the decision of the international federation [IBSF] in regard to us."
"It is difficult for me at the moment to predict what comes next, but our lawyers do their job," Zubkov added.
Three Russian bobsledders - Kasyanov, Khuzin and Pushkarev - filed appeals with the Swiss-based CAS against their-two year suspensions in early February. Zubkov, who served as the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF) until January 22, told TASS on February 5 that he had also filed an appeal with the CAS against the IBSF’s decision.
The decision of the IBSF meant that Zubkov was ineligible to serve as the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation until his suspension term expired on December 18, 2020. On January 22, Zubkov announced that he temporarily resigned from his post. Yelena Anikina, a member of the RBF Presidium, was appointed the acting president of the national bobsleigh federation.
Zubkov wrapped up with his sports career in 2014 and was later elected to take charge of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation. The IOC Disciplinary Commission, chaired by Denis Oswald, announced in 2017 that Zubkov was guilty of anti-doping rules violations.
The Oswald-led commission ruled to annul his results from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, namely the gold in the two-man’s bobsleigh event and the gold in the four-man’s bobsleigh event. The IOC commission also ordered a life-timer ban for Zubkov from all Olympic activities.
Zubkov appealed the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne and it was partly upheld as the Swiss-based court ruled against his life-time ban.