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International Ski Federation suspends six Russian cross-country skiers

November 30, 20:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, the International Olympic Committee banned them for life from the Olympics

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Alexander Legkov/TASS

Alexander Legkov/TASS

© EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER

MOSCOW, November 30./TASS/. The International Ski Federation (FIS) has ‘provisionally suspended’ Russian cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov, Yevgeniy Belov, Alexey Petukhov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova, the federation’s press service reports on Thursday.

Earlier, the International Olympic Committee (IOS) banned them for life from the Olympics, annulling their results at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi for doping violations.

"The International Ski Federation (FIS) has taken note of the reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission for Russian Cross Country athlete Alexander Legkov with details of the evidence," the report said.

"The FIS Doping Panel therefore deems it highly likely that all athletes listed in the so-called Duchess List have benefitted from the systematic conspiracy," it went on.

"The FIS Doping Panel will now proceed according to the procedural rules in the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, affording the athletes the right of due process with a personal hearing before a final decision is reached," the report said.

In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as the 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 tampering of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

Upon the decisions of the Oswald-led commission, 22 Russian athletes have already been banned for life from performing in the Olympics. They are bobsleigh racers Alexander Kasyanov, Alexey Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin, cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Alexey Petukhov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova; skeleton racers Alexander Tretyakov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsyna, Maria Orlova and Sergey Chudinov, bobsledders Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Negodailo, Dmitri Trunenkov and Olga Stulneva, speed skaters Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev, biathletes Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova.

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

The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018 and the participation of the entire Russian national team in the event is still doubtful.

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