Russia’s most decorated Sochi Olympic skiers suspended
Russia’s two best skiers from the Sochi Olympics were among six Russians provisionally suspended by the International Ski Federation after their names appeared in the McLaren report on Russian doping in Sochi.
Cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin went one-two in the 50km freestyle in Sochi and heard their national anthem on the podium at the Closing Ceremony, as is custom for that event, the Winter Olympic equivalent of the marathon.
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 suspended.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) also suspended Sochi Olympians Yevgeny Belov, Yuliya Ivanova and Yevgenia Shapovalova, who did not earn medals.
All athletes appealed their bans, but the provisional suspensions were upheld by the FIS doping panel.
Legkov, Vylegzhanin, Petukhov, Belov, Ivanova and Shapovalova make up six of the 20 cross-country skiers who competed for Russia at the Sochi Olympics.
The skiers are now slated to miss the annual Tour de Ski from Saturday through Jan. 8.
On Dec. 23, FIS announced that six Russian skiers were suspended but did not name names. FIS said the skiers were suspended after the IOC “opened investigations into alleged anti-doping rule violations in connection with” the Sochi Olympics.
The IOC said 28 Russians in all from the Sochi Olympics faced doping cases.