FIS Imposes Provisional Suspensions on Six Russian Cross Country Skiers

Note: This story was updated on 1st December which can be found at the bottom of the page.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission recently issued its decisions in the cases against Cross-Country skiers Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin on 1st and 9th November and sanctioned them with disqualification from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and non-eligibility for future editions of the Games.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has taken note of the reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission for Russian Cross Country athlete Alexander Legkov with details of the evidence. FIS is distraught over the magnitude of the systematic conspiracy with the goal of avoiding Russian athletes from testing positive at the Sochi Olympic Games, described in detail and based on convincing evidence in the IOC decision.

The FIS Doping Panel therefore deems it highly likely that all athletes listed in the so-called Duchess List have benefitted from the systematic conspiracy. In addition, the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database of the Moscow Laboratory containing details of testing records is now under scrutiny by a team of WADA intelligence and investigation specialists. 

The IOC’s jurisdiction is restricted to the Olympic Games. In its decision the IOC Disciplinary Commission (IOC DC) has mandated FIS “to modify the results of the above-mentioned events accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence.” It is therefore the obligation of FIS to also determine the consequences of the decision of the IOC DC for the period outside the Games including the FIS World Cup and other FIS competitions.

While there are certain individual elements relating to the evidence of the anti-doping rule violation committed by each of the six athletes, the FIS Doping Panel found that all of them participated in a similar manner in the systematic conspiracy and benefitted from the prohibited manipulations. The FIS Doping Panel therefore concluded that an equal treatment of the six Cross-Country skiers listed in the Duchess List is mandatory.

In the interest of fair competitions in the FIS Cross Country World Cup and qualification for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, the six above-mentioned athletes are thereby provisionally suspended with immediate effect from 30th November 2017, in accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, article 7.9.2. The athletes and the Russian National and Cross Country Ski Associations have been duly notified of the disciplinary proceedings and provisional suspensions.

The FIS Doping Panel will now proceed according to the procedural rules in the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, affording the athletes the right of due process with a personal hearing before a final decision is reached.

FIS cannot issue any further information about the status of these cases until the FIS Doping Panel has undertaken further procedures in view of the right of confidentiality.

Update: The FIS Doping panel has also issued Provisional Suspensions for Russian Cross Country skiers Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko on 1st December following the IOC Disciplinary Panel decision in the two cases.