LIMA, September 12. /TASS/. Russian athletes should not be disqualified only because of their nationality, International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper told TASS on Tuesday.
Commenting on the suspension of six Russian skiers in the wake of the McLaren report, Kasper said that all anti-doping procedures should be "done in a proper way" regardless of the athlete’s home country.
"Personally, for me it’s clear," he went on. "You cannot disqualify or sanction an athlete just because of his passport. That is, for me, being a Russian does not mean that you are automatically guilty, and the rest has to be done in a proper way."
"We are now waiting for the results of re-testing from Vancouver, from Beijing," he said. "It’s not just the Russian question, but at the moment the interest of the public is mostly on what happens with Russia after Sochi, of course."
On December 23, 2016, FIS slapped provisional suspensions on six Russian cross-country skiers, including Sochi Olympic Champion Alexander Legkov, over alleged violations of anti-doping rules at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The decision was made in the wake of the infamous report by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren. The report suggested that more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in an alleged manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the disqualification of Russian skiers should be automatically lifted on November 1, if no new information is obtained regarding their cases.