2nd November 2020
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the
arbitration procedures involving Russian Athletes Aleksander Zubkov, Aleksander Pushkarev, Aleksander Kasyanov, and Ilvir Khuzin (the Athletes), the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The CAS Panel dismissed the appeals and confirmed the decision taken by the IBSF Hearing Panel on 16 January 2019 (the Challenged Decision) in its entirety.
In such decision, the Athletes were found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation for the use of a Prohibited Substance and the Use of a Prohibited Method (urine substitution) in violation of Art.
2.2 of the 2009 IBSF Anti-Doping Rules and were sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility commencing on the start date of their provisional suspension in December 2018 and the disqualification of all competitive results from the following dates: for Mr Aleksander Kasyanov - 14 February 2014; for Mr Ilvir Khuzin - 15 February 2014; for Mr Aleksei Pushkarev - 23 February 2014; and for Mr Aleksander Zubkov - 23 February 2014. The ADRVs committed by the Athletes arises from the investigation into a sample-swapping scheme in operation at the Sochi Games, at which the Athletes were all members of the Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton team.
The Athletes and WADA submitted separate requests for CAS arbitration which were consolidated and referred to the same panel of arbitrators. WADA sought an increased sanction based on aggravating circumstances, whereas the Athletes sought a reduction in the length of the period of ineligibility/disqualification of results.
The hearing was conducted by video-conference on 23 April 2020, following which the Panel deliberated and drafted the Arbitral Award containing its decision, which confirmed the Challenged Decision in its entirety.