The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has provisionally suspended 4 Russian athletes out of 6 Russian compeeting in Skeleton in Sorchi Olympic, after they were informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that investigations into alleged anti-doping rule violations from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games have been opened.
The athletes, all from the skeleton discipline, and the Russian Bobsleigh Federation have been informed about the provisional suspension, which begins today.
In accordance with the provisions of WADA the IBSF is not in a position to communicate the athletes´names before the proceedings have been concluded.
However, Russian website R-Sport has reported it is Elena Nikitina (headpicture), Olga Potylitsina, Maria Orlova and Aleksandr Tretyakov who have been suspended, citing a source “familiar with the situation”.
Russia won two skeleton medals at Sochi 2014:
- Tretyakov (picture under) won gold in the men’s event
- Nikitina (headpicture) took bronze in the women’s competition.
Photo: Goldwinner in Skeleton men, Sorchi 2014, Aleksandr Tretyakov.
Of the six athletes to represent Russia in skeleton at Sochi 2014, four were listed in the McLaren report which suggested that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were implicated in state sponsored doping.
Photo: Olga Potylitsina
Photo: Maria Orlova
Nikitina, Potylitsina, Orlova and Sergei Chudinov (he is not suspended yet) were all listed in the findings of McLaren, but have yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing.
Photo: Sergei Chudinov, at the McLaren report but not suspended?
Nikita Tregubov was the sixth member of the Sochi 2014 Russian skeleton team, but has not been named in any report.
“It has been a hard time for all of us in sports after the publication of the McLaren Report,” said IBSF President Ivo Ferriani (picture under) in a statement on the governing body’s webside.
“The IBSF is fully committed to ensure all necessary steps will be taken to gain back the integrity of sport – this will require joint efforts by all stakeholders.
“The Russian Bobsleigh Federation confirmed its full support to clarify the matter related to the allegations.”
Meanwhile the President of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF), Alexander Zubkov, has expressed his discontent at the decision in an interview with the TASS Russian news agency.
“We have received information from the international federation that four Russian skeleton racers had been provisionally suspended,” Zubkov said.
“We are currently in intensive talks with President Ferriani.
“We disagree with this decision and we will be protecting our rights.”
Since the second part of the McLaren Report was published, high profile events have been taken away from Russia.
These include the IBSF World Championships, which were due to take place in Sochi in February.
The championships will now take place in Königssee in Germany.
The IBSF Executive Committee duly felt that “during this difficult time it is prudent not to organise such an event in Russia”.
Source: Insidethegames and IBSF