Economy

Four Russian skiers get life ban from Olympics over alleged doping use

Four Russian skiers get life ban from Olympics over alleged doping use”

The athletes get their results achieved during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi annulled, the statement said.

President Vladimir Putin has emphasized that Russia has never and will never have a state-run doping system, adding that the rights of Russian atheletes accused of doping use should be defended in civil courts.

Russian cross country skier Alexander Legkov says he will fight to clear his name after being sanctioned for doping at the 2014 Sochi Games and hit with a lifetime ban from the Olympics last week.

Vylegzhanin won three silver medals during the Sochi Olympics, while three other athletes finished the Games without a medal.

The decision means that Russian Federation will lose two more Olympic awards: the silver medal in the men's team sprint achieved by Vylegzhanin, and gold in the men's 50km marathon. Without positive doping tests, the International Olympic Committee disciplinary panel used evidence of cover-ups and tampering of sample bottles first gathered previous year by McLaren's team.

Legkov, in his first public comments since being banned, wrote on his Instagram page late on Monday: "My medal is clean".

The IOC has said it would decide during its executive board meeting next month on the participation of Russian competitors at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.

With calls to ban Russia's team from next year's Pyeongchang Olympics likely to increase, the IOC's executive board will meet from December 5-7 to discuss the matter. The IOC said all of Russia's 4x10km team would be disqualified given Legkov's violation. Russia's Cross-Country Skiing Federation president announced the verdict on Thursday.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov promised legal support for the banned athletes and said they could be cleared in time to compete at the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Games. Those verdicts are expected to come before the cross-country World Cup season starts on November 24.



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