From the home office in Durham, USA
(Nov. 22, 2017) The International Olympic Committee announced this morning that all three Russian women’s skeleton athletes, as well as Alexander Tretiakov, have been sanctioned as part of the Oswald Commission hearings.
Women’s bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, as well as teammates Maria Orlova and Olga Potylitsina have all been disqualified from the women’s skeleton event in the 2014 Games, as well as any Olympics to come. The same punishment was handed down to gold medalist Alexander Tretiakov.
The rulings mean that none of the four athletes will be allowed to ever compete in an Olympics again.
The athletes are just the latest to be banned from the Olympics. Before the ruling on the skeleton athletes, Sochi gold medalist Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov had their results disqualified from the cross country events, and were banned for life from the Olympics.
Hearings were set up after the WADA’s McLaren Report laid out in great detail the Russian doping program as it pertained to the 2014 Games. Using that information, the IOC Disciplinary Commission began investigating doping charges on an athlete-by-athlete basis.
Through Oswald Commission (headed by Disciplinary Commission chief Denis Oswald), the IOC has determined that all four athletes were “found to have committed anti-doping rule violations pursuant to Article 2 of The International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules” as they applied to the Winter Games in Sochi. With that, both Tretiakov and Nikitina have had their medals stripped by the IOC.
The IOC also has outlined the next steps in the processes for all four athletes, including the IBSF being charged to modify the results of the two skeleton events accordingly, as well as considering further action.
The questions the IBSF will need to answer include what should be done in regards to this year’s Olympic qualifications? While Orlova and Potylitsina are competing on the Intercontinental Cup and seemingly had an outside chance of making the games, Nikitina just won a gold medal less than a week prior to this decision. Both her and Tretiakov are currently earning points for Russia toward Olympic qualifications. A decision will need to be made as to if those points will count.
As for now, as soon as the IBSF reorders the results, they will look something like this:
|2014 Olympics – Men’s Skeleton||2014 Olympics – Women’s Skeleton|
|1||Martins Dukurs||LAT||3||3:45.10||1||Elizabeth Yarnold||GBR||2||3:52.89|
|2||Matthew Antoine||USA||2||3:47.26||2||Noelle Pikus-Pace||USA||1||3:53.86|
|3||Tomass Dukurs||LAT||4||3:47.58||3||Katie Uhlaender||USA||15||3:54.34|
|4||Sergei Chudinov||RUS||8||3:47.59||4||Sarah Reid||CAN||16||3:54.73|
|5||Nikita Tregybov||RUS||17||3:47.62||5||Anja Huber||GER||5||3:55.24|
|6||John Fairbairn||CAN||6||3:48.13||6||Janine Flock||AUT||4||3:56.03|
|7||Kristan Bromley||GBR||11||3:48.17||7||Sophia Griebel||GER||8||3:56.12|
|8||Alexander Kröckel||GER||7||3:48.29||8||Mellisa Hollingsworth||CAN||17||3:56.21|
|9||Dominic Parsons||GBR||13||3:48.36||9||Katharine Eustace||NZL||9||3:56.21|
|10||Frank Rommel||GER||1||3:48.47||10||Marion Thees||GER||6||3:56.23|
|11||Hiroatsu Takahashi||JPN||10||3:48.74||11||Michelle Steele||AUS||11||3:56.28|
|12||Eric Neilson||CAN||14||3:48.77||12||Lelde Priedulena||LAT||19||3:56.28|
|13||Matthias Guggenberger||AUT||16||3:49.00||13||Shelley Rudman||GBR||3||3:56.47|
|14||John Daly||USA||9||3:49.11||14||Lucy Chaffer||AUS||14||3:56.64|
|15||Sungbin Yun||KOR||18||3:49.57||15||Marina Gilardoni||SUI||7||3:56.74|
|16||John Farrow||AUS||23||3:50.67||16||Nozomi Komuro||JPN||18||3:57.76|
|17||Maurizio Oioli||ITA||20||3:50.68||17||Maria Marinela Mazilu||ROU||20||3:58.62|
|19||Ben Sandford||NZL||26||3:51.21||DSQ||Elena Nikitina||RUS||12||3:54.30|
|20||Kyle Tress||USA||12||2:53.74||DSQ||Olga Potylitsina||RUS||13||3:54.40|
|21||Yuki Sasahara||JPN||19||2:54.20||DSQ||Maria Orlova||RUS||10||3:54.72|