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Russia set to appeal IOC decision to disqualify two Olympic speed skaters

November 24, 2017, 18:07 updated at: November 24, 2017, 20:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev have been banned for life over doping abuse allegations

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Olga Fatkulina

Olga Fatkulina

© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The Russian Speed Skating Federation will be filing appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against disqualifications of Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev, Alexei Kravtsov, the president of the national federation, told TASS on Friday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced earlier in the day that Russian speed skaters Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev have been banned for life over doping abuse allegations and their results from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi have been annulled as well.

"We will be certainly filing appeals (with the CAS) since the decision was made without any reasons for accustaions," Kravtsov said in an interview with TASS. "There must be no claims whatsoever, because the case materials state that there were no scratches (on the bottle necks) and doping samples proved to be clear."

"There was no reasoning part and we cannot understand on what grounds they (the atheletes) had been disqualified," he said. "This is why we intend to go to the CAS and defend our stance."

According to the IOC statement earlier in the day, the governing Olympic body announced today "new decisions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations."

"As a result, two Russian bobsledders, Olga Stulneva and Sochi 2014 gold medalist Aleksander Zubkov, and two Russian speed skaters, Sochi 2014 silver medalist Olga Fatkulina and Aleksander Rumyantsev, have been sanctioned," the IOC said in its statement.

The IOC announced its decision on Friday to strip Zubkov of two Olympic gold medals he won at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and also ruled to ban the athlete for life.

Zubkov wrapped up with his sports career in 2014 and is currently holding the post of the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation.

The statement reads that the events at the issue are: "the Two-Man's Bobsleigh Event, in which he ranked 1st and for which he was awarded a gold medal, a medalist pin and a diploma," as well as "the Four-Man's Bobsleigh Event, in which he ranked 1st and for which he was awarded a gold medal, a medalist pin and a diploma."

The statement added that Zubkov "has the medals, medalist pins and the diplomas obtained in the above-mentioned Events withdrawn and is ordered to return the same to the International Olympic Committee."

The famous Russian bobsledder told TASS commenting on the sanctions that the IOC’s decision was not connected with his current post of the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation.

"I do not believe that this IOC decision was somehow connected with my work in the post of the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation," Zubkov said in an interview with TASS. "I am an elected person and will be serving in this capacity until the end of my office term."

"I will be staying in charge of the (Russian Bobsleigh) Federation, which is a public organization, regardless of all IOC decisions," Zubkov added.

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.

Based on the results of the commissions’ investigations the IOC is set to decide during its Executive Board’s session on December 5 whether the Russian national team would be cleared to take part in the PyeongChang Olympics.

The next Olympics, which are XXIII Winter Olympic Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018 and participation of the whole Russian national team in the event is still under a question.

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