21 February 2017
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today rejected urgent requests for provisional measures filed by five Russian cross country skiers – Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov. The athletes sought to stay the execution of the decisions taken by the FIS Doping Panel on 25 January 2017 (Alexander Legov and Evgeniy Belov) and on 6 February 2017 (Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova and Maxim Vylegzhanin), which confirmed their provisional suspensions, in order to be able to compete at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships that will take place in Lahti, Finland from 22 February to 5 March 2017. Consequently, the athletes remain provisionally suspended.
On 22 December 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened investigation procedures against the athletes further to evidence presented in the second McLaren Independent Investigation Report that urine samples provided by the athletes during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games may have been tampered with, by manipulation of samples in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Sochi. The same day, the FIS Doping Panel imposed provisional suspensions on each athlete, which were confirmed in the decisions dated 25 January 2017 and 6 February 2017.
The decisions issued today are given in response to requests for provisional measures filed during the course of the athletes’ appeal arbitration procedures before the CAS. The arbitration procedures are still ongoing and the parties are currently exchanging written submissions and the process of appointing the arbitrators who will decide the matters is underway. At this early stage of the proceedings, it is not possible to determine when the final decisions will be issued