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IOC sanctions Russia’s women’s ice hockey team

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has today (Tuesday) issued its latest set of sanctions against Russian athletes following retesting of doping samples from the 2014 winter Olympics, with the women’s national ice hockey team disqualified from the competition and six athletes issued with life bans.

Inna Dyubanok (pictured), Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba are found to have committed anti-doping rule violations and have been disqualified from the events in which they participated.

The six athletes have been declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all future Olympic Games, while Russia has been disqualified from the Sochi 2014 women’s ice hockey event. 

In addition to the six decisions, the IOC Disciplinary Commission issued a seventh decision in which it found that the elements in the file and the conclusions of the investigations conducted to date were not sufficient to establish an anti-doping rule violation. Accordingly, the disciplinary proceedings opened against the athlete, who has not been named, have been terminated and the case filed.

As of now, the number of cases opened by the Disciplinary Commission has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses. Thirty-three of them have already been heard, of which two have been filed. As some investigations are still ongoing, notably the forensic analysis of the bottles, the IOC said it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases.

More hearings concerning other athletes will be held over the next few weeks. The Oswald Commission has announced that all hearings for active athletes who could qualify for the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang will be completed shortly.