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MOSCOW, January 3. /TASS/. The 2014 skeleton Olympic champion Alexander Tretyakov, bronze medalist Yelena Nikitina along with Olga Potylitsyna and Maria Orlova have been provisionally suspended from competitions by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), Anna Makarova, a spokesperson for the Russian Bobsleigh Federation, informed TASS on Tuesday.
"Tretyakov, Nikitina, Potylitsyna and Orlova have been suspended from taking part in all competitions until January 19 in accordance with the anti-doping rules," she said.
The reason behind the move was the International Olympic Committee’s proceedings against 28 Russian athletes allegedly involved in violating the anti-doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The suspended skeleton racers have been barred from competing at the next two stages of the World Cup in Germany’s Altenberg (on January 6-7) and Winterberg (on January 14-15).
Russian skeleton racers won two medals at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi - Alexander Tretiakov clinched gold and Yelena Nikitina brought the bronze for the national team. In all, six Russian skeleton racers were on the roster of the national team during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Six Russian cross country skiers, including 2014 Olympic Champion Alexander Legkov, were earlier also subjected to provisional suspensions by their relevant international federation, FIS, since the bottles with their urine samples from 2014 Sochi had been allegedly tampered with.
According to Part Two of the report delivered by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system to conceal positive doping tests. McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics had been falsified as well.