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IOC BANS RUSSIAN SKIERS
Wednesday November 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Two cross-country skiers at Sochi, including an Olympic champion, have been disqualified and banned from future Games for drugs offences.

The International Olympic Commitee has announced that Alexander Legkov, who won gold in the 50km race and silver in the 4 x 10km team event at Sochi 2014, must hand back his medals.

Legkov and Evgeniy Belov are the first two athletes to be retrospectively disqualified from Sochi.

The Russian relay team in which Legkov competed have also been disqualified and stripped of their medals.

Belov competed in two events at Sochi, finishing 18th and 25th.

The sanctions are the first to be announced from hearings of the IOC's Disciplinary Commission which is investigating 28 Russian athletes who were implicated in the McLaren report.

It alleged state-sponsored doping in the country during and after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
More decisions are expected to be announced soon and further hearings involving other athletes will be held over the next few weeks.

The IOC has given no details of the guilty findings other than to say that both skiers were "found to have committed anti-doping rules violations pursuant to Article 2 of The International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, in 2014".

Both Legkov and Belov have been given a lifetime Olympic ban.

The sport's governing body, the International Ski Federation, could also impose its own sanctions against the pair.

The IOC's Disciplinary Commission is responsible for investigating the alleged individual doping violations following the publication of the McLaren report.

All available samples collected from Russian athletes at Sochi were re-analysed to review them for evidence of doping and determine whether they had been tampered with.

The process has taken months but the Commission has promised to complete all hearings for active athletes who could compete at PyeongChang 2018 by the end of November.

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