Latvia in line for yet another Olympic medal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on November 29 it had banned three Russian bobsledders - Aleksandr Kasyanov, Aleksei Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin - for life over doping allegations related to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

 

All three have therefore seen their results from Sochi 2014 expunged and they have been banned from the Olympics for life.

Kasyanov and his team's Olympic results have been annulled in both the 4-man and 2-man competitions, who finished in fourth in both events.

This means that the Latvian two-man bob team piloted by Oskars Melbardis, which finished in overall fifth place, could be upgraded to bronze, since the Russia-1 bob team piloted by Alexander Zubkov was also disqualified by the IOC last week.

As reported, last Friday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Russian bobsledder Alexander Zubkov of his Olympic gold medal won in Sochi in 2014, therefore the Latvian team of Oskars Melbardis, Arvis Vilkaste, Daumants Dreiskens and Janis Strenga will now most probably receive the gold medals in the four-man competition.

The official decision on who will be awarded the gold medals now will have to be taken by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation.

Zubkov and a number of other Russian athletes were suspected of doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The case was investigated by the IOC Disciplinary Commission, chaired by Executive Board member Denis Oswald, and its findings served as the basis for disqualification of Zubkov and three other Russian athletes.

The 43-year-old Zubkov, who carried the Russian flag at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony and is currently the President of the Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, has been banned from the Olympic Games for life.

At the Sochi Olympics, Zubkov won gold in the four and two-man bobsleigh. Melbardis' team placed second in four-man bobsleigh, while Steven Holcomb, who died this past March, won bronze.

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