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Life bans for Russians

Reuters
Friday, November 03, 2017

BERLIN - Russia's cross country gold medallist Alexander Legkov and compatriot Evgeniy Belov were banned from the Olympics for life yesterday over doping at the Sochi 2014 winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said.

The two athletes were the first Russians to be sanctioned for anti-doping rule violations following an IOC investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russians and sample tampering by lab and security officials to give them the edge.

Legkov won gold in the 50km and a silver medal in the 4x10km relay event. The IOC said all of Russia's 4x10km team would be disqualified given Legkov's violation.

Belov, who competed in the men's skiathlon 15+15km mass start event and the 15km classic country skiing event, did not medal at the Sochi Games.

Legkov could not be immediately reached by Reuters for a comment.

The IOC did not specify what kind of anti-doping rule violation the skiers had committed but said both of them were "ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games... subsequent to the Sochi Olympic winter Games."

It said more decisions would follow in the coming days as the disciplinary commission led by IOC member Denis Oswald completes its investigation into Russian competitors in Sochi.

Russia's cross country skiing federation said it was preparing an appeal.

"The federation has already begun preparing documents for an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," it said in a statement. "Federation president Elena Valbe and other employees of the federation will not give further comments."

The IOC is re-testing all Russian athletes' samples from the 2014 Games following revelations by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's discredited anti-doping laboratory, of a scheme to cover up home competitors' positive samples.








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