MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport set to hold expedited hearings into cases of four Russian cross-country skiers, who appealed against their recently imposed provisional suspensions, Elena Vyalbe, the president of the Russian Cross Country Ski Federation, told TASS on Thursday.
"The CAS will hold expedited hearings of the appeals," Vyalbe said in an interview with TASS adding she hoped that chances for the banned skiers’ participation in the upcoming global tournaments still remained.
On December 23, the International Ski Federation (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.
Russian cross country skier Maxim Vylegzhanin told TASS on Tuesday that he and his teammates Alexey Petukhov, Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova were set to appeal their provisional suspension with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. The FIS ruled on Tuesday to keep in force earlier imposed provisional suspensions in regard to the four athletes at the issue.
On January 25, the FIS Anti-Doping Panel ruled to keep in force the provisional suspensions of Legkov and Belov. Both athletes later filed appeals with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport disputing the FIS ruling.
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.