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Arbitration Hearings Begin for Russian Athletes

Monday, December, 14, 2015

Russian athletes who earned medals in the London Games could soon learn the fate of their wins, based on a decision by an arbitrator. The first of the hearings will begin in December and involve Russian athletes accused of doping during their participation in the games. Two Olympic medals could be at stake.


The Court of Arbitration for Sport made the announcement recently that it would hear appeals from the International Association of Athletics Federations the first week of December in Switzerland. The hearing involves two medalists. The first, Sergei Kridyapkin won gold in the 50 kilometer race walk and the second, Olga Kaniskina won silver in the 20 kilometer race walk. These first two are among six Russian athletes scheduled to have their appeals heard by the CAS in relation to doping allegations.


The IAAF appealed the suspensions based on timing. The suspensions were imposed according to Russia’s anti-doping agency, an organization that was accused early this November in a report released by the World Anti-Doping Agency of allowing state-sponsored doping. The IAAF imposed a provisional suspension on Russia’s track and field federation. The country’s only certified lab and anti-doping agency certification was also pulled.


Russia’s anti-doping agency banned the two race walk athletes for more than three years, but applied the sanctions later in 2012, which mean they were eligible for the 2012 Summer Games and their medals in those games stood.


Should the arbitrator rule the ban should have taken place prior to the London Games, the International Olympic Committee would likely strip the medals earned by the athletes and award them instead to the runners up.