MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned for life four Russian cross-country skiers and ordered to cancel their results from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi over doping abuse allegations, a source close to the situation told TASS on Thursday.
The four skiers at the issue are Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexey Petukhov, Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova.
"All of the four skiers were slapped with life bans based on a similar decision made earlier in regard to (Alexander) Legkov and (Evgeniy) Belov," the source told TASS.
On November 1, the IOC slapped with life bans two Russian cross-country skiers, Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov, over doping abuse accusations and also ruled to annul their results from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Vylegzhanin won two silver medals at the 2014 Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi, namely in men’s cross-country marathon and in men’s team sprint.
Last year on December 23, the FIS (International Ski Federation) imposed 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 were 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, 2016 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.
The report was based on testimony given by former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief Rodchenkov, who accused Russia of allegedly conducing a state sponsored doping scheme. Rodchenkov absconded to the United States back in late 2015 and has remained in hiding there ever since.
The IOC announced on November 1 that its last week’s decisions to ban Russian skiers Legkov and Belov were made based on the first conclusions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which had been conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations.
In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.
The first of the two commissions is an Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission is looking into accusations set out in the McLaren report that alleges the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were allegedly engaged in.
The second investigative body at the issue is a Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission is tasked to address alleged doping uses and manipulation of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.