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MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russian cross country skiers Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexey Petukhov, Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova are set to appeal their provisional suspension with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Vylegzhanin told TASS on Tuesday.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) ruled earlier in the day to keep in force earlier imposed provisional suspensions in regard to the four athletes at the issue.
"We have been expecting this and will be preparing documentation to file appeals with the CAS," Vylegzhanin said in an interview with TASS. "We will be definitely seeking a prompt approach in regard to our appeals."
The FIS announced earlier in the day in its official statement that "The FIS Doping Panel, after having heard Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin, and the FIS, has decided today (06.02.2017) by majority not to reverse its initial decision but to uphold the provisional suspensions of the four athletes until further notice.
"A similar decision was handed down for the teammates Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov on 25th January 2017," the statement added.
On December 23, the FIS slapped provisional suspensions on six Russian cross-country skiers over alleged violations of anti-doping rules at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The athletes subjected to the provisional suspensions are four male skiers, namely Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Yevgeny Belov and Alexey Petukhov and two female skiers - Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova. The decision was made in the wake of the infamous McLaren Report.
According to Part Two of the report, delivered in early December in London by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.
Part Two of 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.
On January 25, the FIS Anti-Doping Panel ruled to keep in force the provisional suspensions of Legkov and Belov. Both athletes later filed their appeals with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport disputing the FIS ruling.