Russian Olympic skeleton champion suspended after Sochi doping report
Russia’s two Sochi Olympic skeleton medalists, including gold medalist Aleksandr Tretiyakov, were provisionally suspended through Jan. 19 in response to the investigation into Russian doping at the Sochi Winter Games, according to Russian media citing the Russian bobsled and skeleton federation.
Tretiyakov, women’s bronze medalist Yelena Nikitina and fellow Sochi Olympic skeleton sliders Maria Orlova and Olga Potylitsina were all suspended, according to the reports. They made up two-thirds of the Russian Olympic skeleton team in Sochi but have not received sanctions regarding their 2014 Olympic results.
Last Friday, the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announced that four Russian skeleton athletes were provisionally suspended but did not name names.
At least 10 Russian Olympians from Sochi are currently provisionally suspended since the second part of a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report into Russian doping violations in Sochi was published Dec. 9.
The other six suspended Sochi Olympians known so far were cross-country skiers, including Russia’s top two skiers from those Winter Games.
Two Russian biathletes have also been suspended in connection to the WADA-commissioned report. Though their names haven’t been announced by national or international governing bodies, Russian and Italian media have said they were Sochi Olympians.
The skiers and biathletes, like the skeleton sliders, have not received sanctions regarding their Olympic results.
On Dec. 23, the IOC said it opened disciplinary proceedings against 28 Russian Olympians for whom there was “evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine samples” from the Sochi Winter Games.
The IOC move was in response to the WADA-commissioned report by Richard McLaren that said more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in organized doping. Russians who won 15 medals in Sochi had their samples tampered with, according to the report.
The suspended Russian skeleton athletes are in line to miss the next two World Cup stops.
Tretiyakov leads the men’s World Cup standings after two of eight scheduled stops. In second place is South Korean Yun Sung-bin, one of the 2018 Olympic host country’s top athletes across all sports. Yun’s hopes of becoming the first South Korean to win a World Cup skeleton season title increase with Tretiyakov’s absence.
This year’s world skeleton championships are in Koenigssee, Germany, in February, after they were moved from Sochi after the McLaren report was published.