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4 Russians suspended after alleged doping at Sochi
In this Feb. 23, 2014 file photo, the Russian national flag, right, flies after next to the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Olympic world is bracing for more evidence of systematic Russian doping. World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren is releasing his latest report on Friday Dec. 9, 2016 into allegations of state-sponsored cheating and cover-ups in Russia. | AP File Photo/Matthias Schrader
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Four Russian skeleton athletes have been provisionally suspended by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federations for alleged doping rule violations at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The federation said in a statement Friday (Saturday in Manila) it took action after being informed by the International Olympic Committee that investigations had been opened into the four athletes — who have not been named.
The announcement follows the publication earlier this month of a second report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren into Russian doping. McLaren detailed vast state-backed cheating in Russian sport that included swapping athletes' tainted samples for clean urine through the testing laboratory at Sochi.
His report provided further forensic evidence of manipulation of samples at the 2014 Winter Games, where sealed doping bottles were opened with special tools by intelligence agents and tainted urine was replaced with clean urine to beat the drug-testing system.
"It has been a hard time for all of us in sports after the publication of the McLaren Report," IBSF President Ivo Ferriani said in the statement. "The IBSF is fully committed to ensure all necessary steps will be taken to gain back the integrity of sport - this will require joint efforts by all stakeholders."
He added that the Russian Bobsleigh Federation had "confirmed its full support to clarify the matter related to the allegations."
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