Two more Russian bobsleighers from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have been stripped of their gold medals for doping, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday. Aleksei Negodailo and Dmitrii Trunenkov were members of the same four-man bobsleigh team as Russia's flag carrier for the Games Alexander Zubkov, who had his medal stripped on Friday. The IOC has also taken away the team's title.
The announcement comes following hearings by an IOC commission into allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia at the 2014 Games, hosted by Russia. The IOC also disqualified Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina from all events they took part in at the Sochi Games for doping violations, taking away the silver medals they won. Vilukhina won silver in the women's 7.5km biathlon event, while both were in the Russian 4x6km biathlon relay team that came second to Ukraine.
In addition, Sergei Chudinov, who came fifth in the men's individual skeleton, was also disqualified for doping breaches. The five athletes punished were also banned from competing at any future Winter Olympics. The latest sanctions come just a week before a crucial IOC meeting on December 5-7 to decide whether Russia can compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. As well as Zubkov, speed skater Olga Fatkulina was stripped of her silver medal in the 500 metres last Friday. Last Wednesday, four Russian skeleton competitors were also disqualified.
Russia has so far lost 11 medals
Russian sports officials responded to that decision by saying they were prepared to take legal action against the IOC. Russia has so far lost 11 medals following the IOC's investigations, including four of the 13 Olympic titles they won in 2014. That means that they have lost their position on top of the medals table to Norway, who won 11 golds. In total, the IOC has punished 19 Russian Olympians on the recommendation of the commission headed by Swiss sports official Denis Oswald set up to investigate evidence of doping with state involvement.
On Sunday, athletics' world governing body, the IAAF, maintained its suspension of Russia, saying the country still had not done enough to clamp down on doping. Russia was banned from international athletics in November 2015 over claims of state-sponsored doping, preventing its athletes from competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics and this year's World Championships in London.