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IOC dishes out first life bans to Russian dopers

By Matt Slater

The International Olympic Committee has handed out its first two life bans to athletes identified in Richard McLaren's 2016 report into Russia's state-sponsored doping programme.

Evgeniy Belov and Alexander Legkov have both been sanctioned following forensic analysis of their anti-doping samples from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where the Russians systematically swapped dirty samples for clean ones.

The pair were among six cross-country skiers given provisional bans in January - bans which were upheld in May after failed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Legkov won gold in the 50km freestyle and silver in the 4x10km relay, while Belov placed 18th in men's skiathlon and 25th in the 15km classic.

As a result of Legkov's disqualification, the Russian relay team is also disqualified.

In a statement, the IOC said: "Additional decisions from first hearings will be communicated in the coming days. More hearings concerning other athletes will be held over the next weeks."

Belfast Telegraph


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