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Russia’s banned skier Belov: IOC afraid of making honest and just decisions

It is extremely sad that the world of sports turned into a field for political wars, Evgeniy Belov said

MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. Russian cross country skier Evgeniy Belov, who has been banned for life by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over doping abuse allegations, announced on Thursday that the IOC backed off from making just decisions as the organization had yielded to a pressure from outside.

On Wednesday, the IOC slapped with life bans two Russian cross-country skiers, Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov, over doping abuse accusations and also ruled to annul their results from the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

"It is extremely sad that the world of sports, and most importantly the Olympic Movement, turned into a field for political wars since the original goal was to unite people from around the globe," Belov wrote in his Instagram account.

"The Olympic flag has five rings representing five continents and they are all interlocked, while six different colors (together with the white background) symbolize the national colors of all countries around the globe," Belov said. "It is regrettable that people working with the IOC forgot about all of this and surrendered to somebody’s influence. They are afraid of making honest and just decisions."

"A flame of injustice is burning within me as I could have never, even possibly, associated myself with such situation since I had been always staunchly opposing doping in sports," the 27-year-old Russian skier said.

"The future of clean athletes means nothing for the IOC and this fact was obvious judging by their eyes as they had been almost falling asleep during the commission’s session," Belov stated. "Perhaps, they are afraid of losing their jobs, so let them keep on living in fear."

"I keep on living with the sense of truth and it gives me extra strength to fight until the very end," the Russian athlete added.

According to the IOC, the decisions regarding Russian skiers Legkov and Belov were made based on the first conclusions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which had been conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations.

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

Last year on December 23, the FIS slapped provisional suspensions on six Russian cross-country skiers over alleged violations of anti-doping rules at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The athletes subjected to the provisional suspensions were four male skiers, namely Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Yevgeny Belov and Alexey Petukhov and two female skiers - Julia Ivanova and Evgenia Shapovalova. The decision was made in the wake of the infamous McLaren Report.

According to Part Two of the report, delivered in early December, 2016 in London by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, 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.

Part Two of McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, had been falsified as well.

This year in May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled to uphold the provisional suspensions of six Russian cross country skiers rejecting their appeals.