MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF) announced on Tuesday that it would provide legal assistance to six Russian female national ice hockey players, sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
According to the RHF, the six players would be provided the necessary legal assistance if they decided to appeal the IOC ruling with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
The IOC Disciplinary Commission announced its decision earlier on Tuesday to ban for life six players from the Russian national women’s ice hockey team.
The world’s governing Olympic body stated that based on the findings of the IOC’s Commission led by Denis Oswald "six Russian ice hockey players, Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba, have been sanctioned."
According to the IOC, "the six athletes are declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014," and they are also "disqualified from the events in which they participated" at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
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.
Following today’s decision concerning six female ice hockey players, the number climbed to 31.
Moreover, based on the commissions' findings, the IOC Executive Board announced its decision on December 5 to suspend the 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 upcoming Olympics, which are 23rd Winter Games, will take place in South Korea’s PyeongChang on February 9-25, 2018.