(ATR) Russian athletes will find out if the lifetime Olympic bans given to them by the International Olympic Committee will stand by the end of the month.
Russian athletes who won medals and diplomas at Sochi 2014 are appealing their lifetime Olympic bans to CAS. (Kremlin.ru)
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has received and registered 42 appeals by Russian athletes seeking to overturn the decisions made by the IOC Disciplinary Commission over the past two months.
Eleven cross-country skiers, nine ice hockey athletes, eight bobsledders, five skeleton athletes, four speed skaters, three biathletes and two lugers are included in the appeals.
The IOC nullified the results of each of the athletes and barred them from the Games for life. The IOC made this decision based on evidence provided in the McLaren report as well as its own forensic analysis of doping samples from Sochi 2014 that had been tampered with and manipulated to hide doping positives.
Only one athlete, bobsledder Maxim Belugin, decided not to appeal the IOC decision and will return the diploma received for his fourth place finishes at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The remaining athletes hope to maintain the medals and diplomas with a reversal by CAS.
The CAS panel will hear all of the appeals in combined hearings during the week of Jan. 22. A final decision is expected on Jan. 31, just nine days before the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics begin.
China Touts Anti-Doping Efforts
WADA President Craig Reedie (l) visits CHINADA. (CHINADA)
As the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics approach, China is ramping up its efforts to eradicate doping from sport in the country.
"The national winter sports teams have been given over 400 doping tests since September last year and more than 200 athletes took the tests in December alone," Winter Sports Administrative Center member Dong Daning told Xinhua.
"I think doping tests can be used as a tool to crack down on drug cheats and at the same time be seen as a preventive measure and an educational opportunity for the athletes," Daning added.
The increased efforts aren’t just a result of the approaching Winter Olympics. According to the report, the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) conducted more than 17,000 tests in 2017, a 40 percent increase from the number of tests in 2016. The increased testing resulted in 50 percent more positive results, with 132 doping positives found in 2017.
Besides increased testing, CHINADA has invested in education programs to curb the desire to cheat the system. CHINADA has developed the Anti-Doping Qualification Program that consists of written anti-doping exams before all major competitions.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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