MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will hold hearings on April 23 on appeals of four Russian bobsledders against their suspensions imposed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), the press service of the Swiss-based court said in a statement on Monday.
The IBSF announced in January 2019 that three Russian bobsledders, namely Alexander Kasyanov, Ilvir Khuzin and Alexei Pushkarev, were slapped with two-year suspensions until 2020 for violating anti-doping rules during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The IBSF also suspended from all sports-related activities until 2020 former bobsledder and RBF (Russian Bobsleigh Federation) President Alexander Zubkov citing the same violations.
According to the court’s statement, the hearings will be held via videoconference because all in-person hearings have been postponed due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
"In accordance with the Emergency Guidelines issued by the Board of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) on 16 March 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will not conduct any in-person hearings before 1 May 2020, at the earliest," the statement reads.
"Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, the arbitrators and parties are encouraged to conduct hearings by video-conference or to cancel them," according to the statement.
The sports court in Lausanne will also hold hearings on April 23 into the case of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the IBSF, Kasyanov, Khuzin, Pushkarev and Zubkov.
The world’s governing anti-doping body filed an appeal with CAS early last year against a decision of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to suspend four Russian athletes over alleged anti-doping violations. WADA decided to file an appeal with the court in Lausanne since it believed that the previously handed two-year suspension for the Russian bobsledders was insufficient and the suspension term must be longer.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission, chaired by Denis Oswald, announced in 2017 that Zubkov, Kasyanov, Khuzin, Pushkarev and Alexei Voyevoda were guilty of anti-doping rules violations, cancelled all their 2014 Olympics results and banned for life from all Olympic Games.
Zubkov wrapped up with his sports career in 2014 and was later elected to take charge of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation. The Oswald-led commission ruled to annul his results from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, namely the gold in the two-man’s bobsleigh event and the gold in the four-man’s bobsleigh event. The IOC commission also ordered a life-time ban for Zubkov from all Olympic activities.
Zubkov appealed the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne and it was partly upheld as the Swiss-based court ruled against his life-time ban.