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Russia’s top cross-country skiers banned from world championships

Russia’s two best cross-country skiers from the Sochi Olympics, both provisionally suspended since December, were denied entry into the world championships that start this week.

Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin, who went one-two in the Sochi Olympic 50km freestyle, were among six Russian cross-country skiers provisionally suspended by the International Ski Federation in December after their names appeared in the McLaren report on Russian doping in Sochi.

Five of those skiers, including Legkov and Vylegzhanin, made “urgent requests” during their appeals processes to be allowed to compete at the world championships, which start Wednesday in Lahti, Finland.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport denied those requests, but the appeals processes are ongoing, it announced Tuesday.

Legkov and Vylegzhanin were the only Russian skiers to earn multiple medals in Sochi. Both were also part of the 4x10km relay that took silver.

Vylegzhanin added another silver in the team sprint and also owns five world championships medals. Legkov owns two world championships medals.

Aleksey Petukhov, a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time world medalist, was also among the five skiers who were denied worlds entry. As were Sochi Olympians Yevgeny Belov and Yevgenia Shapovalova.

The IOC said 28 Russians in all from the Sochi Olympics faced doping cases.

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