Russian bobsledder banned over doping

Lausanne (AFP) –


Russian bobsledder Alexey Voevoda has been found guilty of committing "anti-doping rule violations" at the 2014 Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

Voevoda had already been stripped of his gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsleigh after team-mate Alexander Zubkov was sanctioned over doping last month.

The latest IOC punishment against a Russian athlete comes from the Oswald Commission findings following a forensic and analytic investigation into state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at Sochi.

The other two members of the Russian four-man bobsleigh team had also fallen foul of the Oswald Commission and were likewise banned last month.

Like all Russian athletes sanctioned over the Sochi doping scandal, Voevoda received a lifetime ban from the Games.

So far, 32 Russian athletes have been punished and banned following findings by the Oswald Commission, chaired by IOC member Denis Oswald.

These sanctions have seen Russia lose top spot in the Sochi medals table having been stripped of 11 of their original 33 gongs, slipping down to fourth overall behind Norway, Canada and the US.

The Russian doping fiasco came to light after the World Anti-Doping Agency-sponsored McLaren report deemed the country to have set up an elaborate doping programme involving the manipulation of drug test samples, all with the tacit support of the government.

On Monday, the IOC closed an investigation into another unnamed Russian athlete having determined that the evidence was "not sufficient to establish an anti-doping rule violation".

Russia has been banned from taking part at next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea due to this widespread doping.

However, athletes who prove themselves to be clean have been told by the IOC they can compete under strict conditions, and under a neutral flag.