Three Russians banned for Olympic doping, more coming
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More Russian doping cases from the 2014 Sochi Games are on the way, the International Olympic Committee said earlier today as it banned three more athletes from the country.
The IOC said its commission is dealing with 36 cases related to doping by Russia at the Sochi Olympics, eight more than previously acknowledged.
Of that total, 25 athletes have now been banned — including the three in Friday’s rulings — and one has been cleared, figure skater Adelina Sotnikova.
“As some investigations are still ongoing (notably the forensic analysis of the bottles), it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases,” the IOC said in a statement.
The three banned Friday include Olga Zaitseva, who won silver in the women’s biathlon relay in 2014. That medal, however, has already been stripped because teammate Olga Vilukhina was banned on Monday.
Zaitseva remains one of the most successful Russian biathletes in Olympic history, with two gold medals and a silver medal from previous games. She will keep those medals because the ruling only applies to the 2014 Games, not the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.
Cross-country skiers Anastasia Dotsenko and Yulia Chekaleva were also banned Friday. Neither won a medal.
The IOC started its investigations last year after World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren detailed a vast Russian program of doping and cover-ups, including tampering with samples at the Sochi laboratory.
Also Friday, the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said it had lifted provisional suspensions from nine Russians banned by the IOC. The move, which leaves the Russians free to compete in non-Olympic events like the World Cup, was taken because the IOC hasn’t yet provided the IBSF will full details of its investigations.
That mirrors the position taken by the International Ski Federation, which did not immediately suspend six Russians after their IOC bans, but then suspended them on Thursday after receiving more information.