MUNICH — The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation has lifted the suspensions of nine Russian sliders and officials, which means they may rejoin the World Cup circuit when the season resumes next week in Germany.
Russian Bobsleigh Federation President Aleksandr Zubkov and skeleton racers Aleksandr Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina were suspended by the IBSF last week, after the International Olympic Committee banned them and stripped their medals from the 2014 Sochi Games because of involvement in a doping scandal.
The IBSF says the IOC will need to provide more details about its doping-related findings before the suspensions can be justified. The IBSF decision in no way changes the IOC ruling that Zubkov, Nikitina, Tretiakov and others will lose their medals from Sochi and the right to be accredited for future Olympics.
“The IBSF Hearing Panel came to the conclusion that there is still not yet sufficient evidence of the above mentioned individual athletes and officials that would justify the provisional suspension being maintained for the time being,” the federation said. “The Hearing Panel invites the IOC to present the IBSF with a reasoned decision, as soon as possible, in order to potentially re-consider the position of the individual athletes and officials.”
Zubkov, now retired, was a two-time Sochi gold medalist. Tretiakov won gold and Nikitina won bronze in Sochi, and were not permitted to slide at a World Cup in Canada last weekend. The Russians are expected to appeal the IOC ruling about the stripped medals and future Olympic bans.