(ATR) The International Luge Federation chooses to forego sanctions against Russian athletes Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko despite lifetime bans from the International Olympic Committee.
Luge at the Sochi 2014 Games (Getty Images)
Each of the athletes won silver medals at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia which they are now ordered to return for their involvement in the country’s covert doping scheme during the Games.
The FIL Disciplinary Commission met on Jan. 2 for an arbitration hearing in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
“The FIL’s Disciplinary Commission was unable to ascertain with full conviction that the two athletes had violated anti-doping regulations at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi,” the federation said in a statement.
The decision was rendered by Disciplinary Commission chairman Christian Krahe along with members Andreas Ruetz and Jochen Fritzweiler.
The FIL decision directly contradicts the IOC Disciplinary Commission decisions rendered by chairman Denis Oswald on Dec. 22, in which Ivanova and Demchenko were two of 11 athletes banned for life from the Olympics. ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann are the other two members of the IOC Disciplinary Commission.
The IOC cited the violation of article two of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules during the Sochi 2014 Games based on its reanalysis of findings in the McLaren Report and its own forensic tests of manipulated samples.
FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis Awarded OBE
International Ski Federation Secretary General Sarah Lewis is now an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis (Twitter)
She was included by Queen Elizabeth II on the New Year Honours List for 2018.
Lewis was recognized for her work as FIS Secretary General since 2000 as well as her leading role in winter sports and the Olympic Movement.
"It is an honor not only for myself but for the work we are doing at FIS to be recognized with such a prestigious award as an OBE,” Lewis said in a statement.
“I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work in sport and at the International Ski Federation, with so many dedicated professionals and volunteers who share the important values of sport and the positive role it plays in life, who I would like to thank with all sincerity. The message received through this humbling achievement is to further inspire my commitment to our ambitious work at FIS to be the best possible sports organization."
The Honours List recognizes the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. Recipients collect their awards from the Queen or another member of the royal family at an investiture ceremony.
USA Hockey Unveils PyeongChang Roster
The United States men’s ice hockey team for PyeongChang 2018 will be minus any current NHL players but will be captained by an Olympic and NHL veteran.
USA captain Brian Gionta (USA Hockey)
Brian Gionta represented Team USA at the 2006 Winter Games and won a Stanley Cup title with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He played in more than 1,000 NHL games but as he nears his 39th birthday, Gionta is currently not playing professionally.
The first 23 players of the team were unveiled on Monday by USA Hockey. While Gionta is the only Olympian, 15 of the other 22 players do have NHL experience. There are also 15 who currently play professionally in Europe while three others compete in one of the minor leagues in North America.
There will also be a nod to the “Miracle on Ice” team of amateurs that famously won gold at Lake Placid in 1980, with four college players making the team for 2018.
One of the collegians, forward Jordan Greenway of Boston University, will be the first black U.S. hockey Olympian.
Two more goaltenders will be added by mid-January to complete the 25-man roster.
The United States and Canada men’s teams could have a hard time coming close to their achievements of the last two Winter Games following the National Hockey League’s decision to not allow its players to participate at the Olympics for the first time since 1994.
The U.S. lost to Canada in the final in Vancouver in 2010 and finished fourth at Sochi four years later. Canada followed up the Vancouver gold with another one in 2014. Both countries have fielded teams laden with NHL players since Nagano 1998.
Canada is expected to reveal its roster next week.
Written by Gerard Farek and Kevin Nutley
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