Russian cross-country skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova were handed two-year bans, this was ruled by the International Ski Federation Monday. The Russian Olympic Committee claimed that such a decision was unfair and discriminating.
The FIS handed down such a verdict after the results of the dope test at this years Winter Olympics. Both women were tested positive for the banned darbepoetin drug. The International Olympic Committee disqualified Lazutina’s and Danilova’s 30-kilometer race results before (which was the first and the eighth places respectively), although both women still have two silver and one gold medal, which they had won before dope tests.
Nevertheless, the decision of the FIS is more than unfair. This organization did not even wait for their appeals of the Russian skiers, which were sent to the International Arbitration Institute in March. The head of the Russian Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachev claimed that there were no reasons to doubt Lazutina’s and Danilova’s assertions, they claimed that they did not use any drugs, taking into consideration the fact that there are a lot of violations on the part of the central anti-dope committee and IDTM company that analyzed Lazutina’s and Danilova's tests.
The results of the dope test, to which the FIS refers, appeared only five months after the dope test itself – in the middle of May. Gazeta.Ru reported that the International Olympic Committee and its president did not pay much attention to this fact. Most likely, the FIS listened to IOC’s president, who demanded to declare a suspension on Lazutina, so the FIS had a negative attitude to the Russian skiers.
The Olympic Committee has already sent a protest to the International Arbitration Institute for Sport claiming to reconsider Russian skiers’ cases. Furthermore, Tyagachev is inclined to blame not only international organizations, but also Russian sports officials and doctors that did not inform the Russian Olympic Committee about the situation with banned drugs. The Arbitration Institute is expected to bring down its sentence in the middle of July, and the career of some people from the Russian Ski Federation will be over with.
The press-service of the company Russian Aluminium, which claims to be the main defendant of Russian athletes’ interests, said to PRAVDA.Ru that they did not have the efficient information about the protests pending at the Arbitration Institute. One may easily guess, what the outcome of the story will be.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969