IBSF Lifts Provisional Suspensions of Russian Athletes

From Munich, GER

(Dec. 1, 2017) The IBSF has lifted the provisional suspensions of all Russians banned from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee.

The IBSF Hearing Panel made the decision based, in part, off a January 6, 2017 decision to allow the Russian athletes to race after the McLaren Report had come out in regards to anti-doping samples handled by Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

In the December 1, 2017 decision, the IBSF states that they are still awaiting the “reasoned decision” by the IOC, but does ask the IOC to present the IBSF with information as soon as possible in regards to the various athletes.

In the wake of a myriad of IOC bans, so far only one reasoned decision have been released. That decision (for cross country athlete Alexander Legkov) was released roughly a month after the original ban had come out.

The question the IBSF will have going forward is a difficult one: Do you allow athletes who are banned from the Olympics to qualify sleds into the Olympics? The rules simply state that sleds are qualified based on their IBSF rankings, but aren’t exactly tied to an athlete, and thus Alexander Tretiakov, Alexander Kasjanov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsina, and Maria Orlova can all score IBSF points as they relate to Olympic qualifications for Russia.

As the 2018 Olympic Games loom one can expect detailed decisions to be handed out by the IOC sooner rather than later, but until then the banned athletes have the right to compete in IBSF events.

The next event scheduled for the IBSF in which Russia would compete is the World Cup stop in Winterberg, Germany on December 8th. Currently three IOC banned athletes (Tretiakov, Kasjanov, Nikitina) are likely to compete. Orlova and Potylitsina have been sliding on the Intercontinental Cup, which will hold its next race on January 4, 2018 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Read the full statement by the IBSF Hearing Panel