IOC Bans Russian Bobsledders, Speed Skaters for Sochi Doping

By Reuters
November 24, 2017 Updated: November 24, 2017

MOSCOW—Two Russian bobsledders, including double gold medalist Alexander Zubkov, and two speed skaters have been banned for life from the Olympics over doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.

The other athletes banned include bobsledder Olga Stulneva, as well as speed skaters Olga Fatkulina, who won silver in the 500 meters in Sochi, and Alexander Rumyantsev.

The IOC said it had voided the athletes’ results from Sochi, stripping Zubkov—now president of Russia‘s bobsleigh federation—and Fatkulina of their Olympic medals.

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Russia’s pilot Alexander Zubkov poses with a gold medal during a ceremony for the four-man bobsleigh event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort near Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer/Action Images)
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Russia’s pilot Olga Stulneva (L) looks at teammate Liudmila Udobkina as she takes off her helmet after completing a run in the women’s bobsleigh event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor on Feb. 19, 2014. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo)
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Russia’s Olga Fatkulina reacts after the women’s 1,500 metres speed skating race in the Adler Arena at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo)

The IOC decision raises to 14 the number of Russian athletes banned this month as part of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russians and sample tampering by laboratory and security officials at the Sochi Games.

Russia were first in the medal table at the end of the Games but the latest IOC decision now brings down their number of gold medals to nine, behind Canada and Norway.

The president of Russia‘s speed skating federation, Alexei Kravtsov, told the Interfax news agency it would appeal the decision to ban Fatkulina and Rumyantsev at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Zubkov, who was Russia‘s flagbearer at the Sochi Olympics, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) laughs with Russia’s gold medallist bobsleigh athlete Alexander Zubkov during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, on Feb. 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo)

The IOC has been re-testing all Russian athletes’ samples from the 2014 Games following disclosures by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow’s suspended anti-doping laboratory, of a scheme to cover up home competitors’ positive samples.

The IOC is set to decide next month on the participation of Russian competitors at the winter Games in Pyeongchang in South Korea in February.

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber