MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Olympic Committee appealed on Thursday against a Moscow court ruling that refused to recognize bobsledder Alexander Zubkov’s Olympic ban, saying it could cast doubt on Russia’s desire to fight against doping.
FILE PHOTO: Russia’s pilot Alexander Zubkov poses with a gold medal during a ceremony for the four-man bobsleigh event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort near Sochi, Russia, February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Zubkov, who has retired from competition and currently serves as the president of Russia’s bobsleigh federation, was stripped of his two gold medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics over doping.
Yet a Moscow court last month refused to acknowledge a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that confirmed a doping violation against Zubkov.
The judgment has no effect outside the country, leaving the CAS ruling intact.
The Russian Olympic Committee said that the Moscow court ruling “could give reason to doubt that Russia truly recognizes the basic principles of the fight against doping”.
When contacted by Reuters on Thursday, Zubkov said: “The Russian Olympic Committee has to defend its athletes … but unfortunately our Olympic leaders don’t agree. They are taking the side of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).”
The IOC stripped Zubkov of his two gold medals last year and banned him from the Olympics for life because of doping violations. Zubkov has denied any wrongdoing.
He appealed to the CAS, but the court upheld the IOC decision.
The Russian team was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from competing at this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games over the systematic manipulation of doping tests at the Sochi Olympics.
The IOC, however, allowed Russians with no history of doping to compete in Pyeongchang at its invitation as neutral athletes.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Toby Davis