MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. A number of cases regarding possible violations of anti-doping rules by Russian Olympic athletes increased from the previous figure of 36 to 46, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) press service announced on Tuesday.
According to the IOC, the cases are probed by the IOC Commission led by Denis Oswald and the number climbed up following the retests of doping samples collected during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
"As of now, the number of cases opened by the (IOC) Disciplinary Commission has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses," the statement reads.
"Thirty-three of them have already been heard, of which two have been filed," according to the statement. "As some investigations are still ongoing (notably the forensic analysis of the bottles), it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases."
The Denis Oswald-led commission had carried out retests of Russian athletes’ doping samples collected at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and, as a result, already cancelled the results of 25 athletes from their home Games.
Earlier in the day, the IOC announced in its statement that six more Russian athletes, namely from the Russian National Women Ice Hockey Team, had been banned for life as well following results provided by the Oswald-led Commission.
Moreover, based on the commissions' findings, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision on December 5 to suspend the whole Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.
The IOC, however, stated that doping-free athletes from Russia could go to the 2018 Olympic Games under the classification of neutral athletes, or the OAR status, which stands for ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia.’
The IOC Executive Board also announced last week that the ROC was to reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC for the probes and to contribute to the establishment of an Independent Testing Authority (ITA), which carries a price tag of $15 million.
The world’s governing Olympic body stated that not only did it ban Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko and ex-Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh from attending all Olympic events in their official capacities, but it also yanked the membership of the ROC and its President Zhukov. A number of additional sanctions against other Russian sports officials followed from the IOC as well.
The upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.