5 more Russians disqualified for doping at Sochi Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Another five Russians were disqualified for doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Monday, among them winners of gold and silver medals.

They bring to 19 the number of Russians caught in a program to cover up doping and tamper with tainted samples.

The latest cases involved Aleksei Negodailo and Dmitrii Trunenkov, members of the gold medal-winning four-man bobsled; Yana Romanova, the silver medalist in the 4×6-kilometer women’s biathlon relay; Olga Vilukhina, the silver medalist in the same relay and 7.5-kilometer biathlon; and Sergei Chudinov, who was fifth in skeleton.

The Russian Bobsleigh Federation said in a statement the decision to disqualify Negodailo, Trunenkov, and Chudinov was “the height of injustice” that lacked legal basis, and promised to contest it in court.

Trunenkov was already serving a four-year ban, backdated to April 2016, for a separate doping offense just before he retired.

Another member of the four-man team, Alexander Zubkov, was disqualified on Friday and stripped of his golds in the two-man and four-man. That meant Alexey Voyevoda, who won both golds with Zubkov, was also stripped of the medals. His case was considered by the IOC panel last Thursday.

A third member of the women’s biathlon relay, Olga Zaitseva, had her hearing last week.

All five were also banned from the Olympics.

If the 2014 medals are reallocated, the four-man bobsled gold could go to silver medal winner Latvia. The United States could improve to silver, and, ironically, a Russian team that was fourth could receive the bronze. Britain was fifth.

In women’s biathlon, Vilukhina’s silver could pass to Vita Semerenko of Ukraine, and Karin Oberhofer of Italy could be promoted from fourth to bronze. The women’s relay could see Norway could move up to silver and the Czech Republic to bronze.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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