Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has published one new decision from the Oswald Commission hearings, which are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations. As a result, the Russian bobsledder Alexey VOEVODA, double gold medallist in Sochi 2014, has been sanctioned. The case opened against a second athlete has been closed without a sanction.
More hearings concerning other athletes will be held over the next few weeks.
To date, the number of cases opened by the Disciplinary Commission has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses. Thirty-five of them have already been handled, of which three have been filed. As some investigations are still ongoing (notably the forensic analysis of the bottles), it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases.
The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Mr Denis Oswald (Chairman), Mr Juan Antonio Samaranch and Mr Tony Estanguet, decided the following:
Alexey VOEVODA is found to have committed anti-doping rule violations pursuant to Article 2 of The International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, in 2014, and is disqualified from the events in which he participated.
In addition, he is declared ineligible to be accredited in any capacity for all editions of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games subsequent to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
The Russian team is disqualified from the two-man bobsleigh and four-man bobsleigh events, and the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation is requested to modify the results of the above-mentioned events accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence.
The reasoning for these decisions will be communicated in due course.
In addition to this decision, the IOC Disciplinary Commission has issued a third decision in which it found that the elements in the file and the conclusions of the investigations conducted so far were not sufficient to establish an anti-doping rule violation. Accordingly, the disciplinary proceedings opened against the athlete were terminated and the case filed. In order to protect the rights of the athlete, the identity of the athlete concerned will not be disclosed and the decision will not be published at this point in time.
The Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald, is responsible for investigating the alleged doping violations by individual Russian athletes. Therefore, all the samples collected from Russian athletes at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 that were available to the IOC were re-analysed. This had two goals: to further review the samples for evidence of doping, and separately to determine if the samples themselves or the bottles were manipulated or tampered with.
Due to the nature and complexity of the cases, this thorough, comprehensive and time-consuming process has taken several months and had to involve external forensic experts, who had to develop a legally-defendable methodology for all the cases under the jurisdiction of the Oswald Commission. Due process has to be followed, and re-analysis is still underway.
The IOC showed its determination to protect clean athletes from the very beginning of the case, in July 2016, by immediately establishing the Oswald Commission and the Schmid Commission, following the publication of the McLaren report. The IOC took this extra measure as Prof. McLaren did not have the authority to bring forward Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) cases against individual athletes.
The Oswald Commission has announced that all hearings for active athletes who could qualify for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be completed shortly. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, confidentiality has to be respected in the interests of the athletes concerned. The purpose of this work is to ensure that the International Federations (IFs) have the necessary tools to protect the qualification competitions. The outcome of the hearings will be announced as soon as possible after each individual hearing. This will allow the IFs to follow up with their own disciplinary hearings immediately, and to take the athletes concerned out of the qualification system as soon as possible.
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