FIS chief opposes suspending Russian ski team over doping scandal

Moscow, Jan 4 (IANS) International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper has spoken out against banning Russias national team from the competitions over the doping scandal.

“We should not suspend those who are innocent,” the Dutschlandfunk website quoted him as saying on Tuesday, reports Tass.

“We should punish only whose who are guilty, we cannot do that indiscriminately just because they have Russian passports. That’s wrong, both humanly and legally. I understand that many athletes are concerned in this situation,” he added.

“However, just two hours after the IOC gave us an opportunity to make a decision, we suspended all six Russian cross-country skiers placed on the list of WADA’s Independent Commission head, Richard McLaren. Now let’s see what our investigation will show.”

According to the FIS President, the federation has no information about the involvement of Russian skier Sergei Ustyugov in the doping scandal. “As far as we know, he is not involved in the doping scandals,” Kasper said.

“At least, he was not mentioned in McLaren’s report.”

Kasper stressed that at present the FIS does not consider barring Russian skiers from the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Six Russian cross country skiers, including 2014 Olympic Champion Alexander Legkov, were earlier subjected to provisional suspensions by the International Ski Federation over the alleged violations of the anti-doping rules during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

According to Part Two of the report delivered by the WADA Independent Commission and its chairman, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system to conceal positive doping tests.

McLaren’s report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with.

In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics had been falsified as well.