MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Russian Olympic medalist in cross country skiing Maxim Vylegzhanin told TASS on Thursday he would continue fighting for the right to take part in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games despite his reported life ban, imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
A source close to the situation told TASS earlier in the day that the IOC 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. The four skiers at the issue are Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexey Petukhov, Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova.
"I will be preparing documents to file them with the CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) since this situation is very unclear to me," Vylegzhanin said in an interview with TASS. "They have no evidence whatsoever, while we never did anything wrong or committed violations."
"I will continue training for the World Cups, there is still a chance to go the Olympic Games and we believe in this," the athlete added.
The next Olympics, which are XXIII Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018 and Russia’s participation in the event is still under a question.
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.
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.
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.