Russia is ready to lose a biathlon gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in a new doping case.
The International Biathlon Union on Saturday introduced a two-year ban for Evgeny Ustyugov, who was a part of the gold medal-winning males’s relay group six years in the past, citing proof he used the banned steroid oxandrolone across the time of the Olympics.
His outcomes from the 2013-14 season have been disqualified, together with the Olympic victory.
When confirmed by the International Olympic Committee, that may knock Russia off high spot in the Sochi medal desk in phrases of golds. The host nation would have 10 golds, towards 11 for Norway, and 28 complete medals, the joint-most together with the United States.
WATCH | WADA bans Russia from 2020 Olympics, 2022 World Cup:
Germany is in line to inherit the relay gold, topic to IOC affirmation.
Ustyugov, who can be going through one other anti-doping cost on one other matter, denies any wrongdoing and instructed the IBU was unfairly focusing on him with a sequence of investigations.
“I’m now not stunned. An outrage is an outrage,” he advised the Russian state information company Tass. “Time will present who is correct.”
The Salzburg-based IBU additionally introduced the same two-year sanction for Svetlana Sleptsova, a Russian who did not win any medals at Sochi, over the banned substance ostarine.
The circumstances are dependent on disputed knowledge from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
The pc information have been obtained final 12 months by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has since mentioned it considers among the knowledge to have been tampered with to cowl up doping. WADA has banned Russia’s title and flag from the 2020 Olympics as a consequence.
Russia denies manipulating knowledge
A WADA panel mentioned in November that makes an attempt have been made to delete information in two biathlon circumstances whose particulars seem to match these of Ustyugov and Sleptsova, however that pc consultants recovered the information.
Russia denies manipulating the info. Russian officers and other people concerned in Russia’s personal investigation of the info have beforehand mentioned information might have been modified remotely or might have been corrupted by unstable software program.
WADA mentioned Saturday it could not talk about the lab knowledge’s position in the circumstances.
“We word the choice and level out WADA Intelligence and Investigations Dept’s involvement in the case however we can not remark at this stage whereas the enchantment window continues to be open,” WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald advised The Associated Press in an emailed assertion.
Any enchantment by Ustyugov is probably going to deal with whether or not the info may be thought-about dependable proof. Even if he wins an enchantment to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, he might nonetheless face a ban in a separate doping case.
The Biathlon Integrity Unit, a new anti-doping arm of the IBU, mentioned Thursday it charged Ustyugov with a doping violation dependent on uncommon knowledge in blood samples he gave between Jan. 2010 and Feb. 2014. That might probably threaten his gold medal in mass begin and relay bronze from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
Russia ‘prepared to flip the web page of its sports activities historical past’
The Russian Sports Ministry mentioned Saturday it had eliminated Ustyugov from his position as chief umpire of a nationwide youth sports activities pageant. The ministry added it expects extra disciplinary circumstances dependent on the info.
“The Russian Federation Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin expressed confidence that, whatever the outcomes of all of the investigations, Russia is prepared to flip the web page of its sports activities historical past which has been clouded by the doping scandals of current years,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement.
The IOC did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
The ban for Ustyugov was introduced on the identical day that Latvian bobsledders obtained belated gold medals from the Sochi Olympics.
The four-man group piloted by Oskars Melbardis was earlier awarded the gold after a Russian squad was disqualified following doping investigations. The ceremony was timed to coincide with the European bobsled championships, that are going down in Latvia.