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Deputy PM says IOC keeps punishing Russian athletes despite lack of facts

November 22, 20:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The IOC announced earlier Russian skeleton racers Aleksandr Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina had been stripped of their medals (gold and bronze) from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

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MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Disciplinary Commission aims to carry on with sanctions against all Russian athletes, who allegedly violated anti-doping rules, despite the lack of real facts, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Wednesday.

"Lawyers see everything and inform us that the developments are beyond the realm of legal norms," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "It can be hardly called a legal proceeding since athletes’ reasons remain ignored."

The IOC announced earlier in the day that Russian skeleton racers Aleksandr Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina had been stripped of their medals (gold and bronze) from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and were also banned for life.

"I think it is already obvious that all (Russian) athletes on the accusation list will be certainly subjected to penalties," he said. "I believe this is not the IOC to blame, but it may be an outcome of those behind the present-day scenario."

"However, we will be fighting until the very end, as there is a lack of written reasoning, which may be appealed against," Mutko said. "Our next steps will be to turn to arbitrary and civil courts."

"There were no facts and will never be," he said. "We are facing a collective responsibility and everyone knows what it could lead to."

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.

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