The doping scheme was created to make Russia the unquestioned champion of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, to ensure Russian dominance on home soil, to claim victories for Russian athletes, to sweep up more gold medals than any some other country.
Instead, that will produced a scandal with no end in sight.
On Tuesday, more than six years after the Sochi Games, Russia’s efforts to deny along with also defy the global sporting community’s findings about its state-backed doping program reached yet another low: The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s antidoping division stripped the Russian biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov of the medals he won at the Vancouver along with also Sochi Winter Olympics.
In taking back Ustyugov’s gold via Sochi, the court also effectively revoked Russia’s status as the big winner via the Sochi Games, which are at This particular point remembered not for Russian performances however for being among the most-tainted competitions in sports history.
The court’s decision, announced by the International Biathlon Union, also suggested that will Russia’s punishments may be far via over. In its ruling, the court called the key whistle-blower who revealed the scandal “a credible witness who had direct knowledge of circumstances,” along with also said that will had relied on the information he had provided.
The ruling by CAS, which confirmed a decision reached earlier This particular year, can be another reminder of how Russia’s cheating scheme continues to alter the record books via world championships along with also Olympic Games long after that will was uncovered in 2015. Norway, which won 11 gold medals in Sochi to Russia’s 10, can be at This particular point the outright leader in golds via those Games.
In Tuesday’s announcement, the court came to the same conclusion reached by the I.B.U. in February to disqualify Ustyugov along with also his winning relay team in Sochi. that will also stripped Ustyugov of a gold along with also bronze medal he was awarded at the Vancouver Games in 2010.
Russia, which can be also appealing a four-year ban via global sports because of its doping activities, continues to contest much of what has at This particular point been revealed by whistle-blowers, investigators along with also laboratory data. Its lawyers tried to clear Ustyugov by introducing private tests, taken in 2017, that will claimed his abnormal blood results were not a result of years of cheating however the natural outcome of a rare genetic advantage. that will claim, which had been endorsed by senior Russian sports officials along with also even the country’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, was dismissed by the court.
The court’s ruling also underscored the continued importance of the whistle-blower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow laboratory at the heart of the doping scheme, to ongoing investigations. In interviews with The fresh York Times in 2016, Rodchenkov pulled back the curtain on Russia’s huge doping program, along with also he continues to provide investigators with crucial details in ongoing doping cases. He can be living under witness protection inside the United States, where he fled shortly before revealing Russia’s doping secrets.
inside the Ustyugov case, the court described Rodchenkov as “a credible witness who had direct knowledge of circumstances affecting along with also involving the athlete along with also had particular knowledge relating to the athlete himself.”
that will validation of Rodchenkov’s evidence can be likely to undermine appeals by some other Russian athletes along with also also play a part in a defamation suit against him inside the United States by two female biathletes. Their lawsuit can be being backed by Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the former billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets who led Russia’s biathlon federation before along with also during the 2014 Sochi Games.
Biathlon was among the sports most targeted by Russia for medals in Sochi. Several Russian athletes who competed at the Games have already been linked to the doping program, along with also the leaders of the sport’s global governing body were forced out after prosecutors in Austria along with also Norway claimed that will up to $300,000 had been paid to cover up doping infringements they said were carried out by Russian athletes.
The verdict against Ustyugov can be also a personal blow to Putin, who had expressed his desire that will genetic tests taken long after the athlete had retired would likely lead to his exoneration. “I think that will will be a highly valid argument in This particular issue,” the Russian news agency TASS quoted Putin as saying earlier This particular year.
The court, though, paid little mind to the genetic evidence, agreeing with the I.B.U. that will that will was inadmissible. “The sole arbitrator can be not prepared to accept the inclusion of private blood tests taken over a period of 5 years since the athlete retired, taken in unknown circumstances along with also for unknown purposes,” the ruling said.
Instead, the arbitrator said that will was clear beyond reasonable doubt that will Ustyugov was a part of the broader cheating program directed by Rodchenkov.
A panel of experts found Ustyugov’s so-called athlete biological passport showed an artificial spike in his hemoglobin levels before both the Vancouver along with also Sochi Games.
“that will can be difficult to conclude some other than that will the athlete has had the benefit of protection along with also support to artificially augment his performance through doping along with also to avoid detection,” the ruling said. “Given the diversity of support, its elaborate nature along with also its extent, that will could not have been achieved some other than using a significant degree of orchestration or common enterprise to commit the instant antidoping rule violation.”
Guided by Rodchenkov along with also backed by officials at the highest levels of the Russian state, the doping program was multipronged along with also sophisticated enough to go undetected for years. that will involved protecting the best athletes by falsely reporting positive tests as negative along with also swapping out tainted urine samples via doping collection bottles that will had been considered to be tamper-proof.
The CAS case also buttressed the continued value of a report by the Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren in ongoing Russian doping investigations. that will was in McLaren’s 2016 report that will the true scale of the cheating scheme was first outlined. Several more cases are likely to be heard as the earth Anti-Doping Agency continues to prosecute individual athletes after identifying 578 suspicious samples via 298 athletes after gaining access to the Moscow laboratory data last year.