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Russian Ski Association avoids suspension from FIS, receives warning

Russian Ski Association avoids suspension from FIS, receives warning
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has opted not to suspend the Russian Ski Association (RSA) over alleged doping violations by its athletes, but warned it will impose penalties if the RSA’s involvement in doping is proved.

“For the time being, based upon existing evidence, the FIS Council does not intend to suspend the Russian Ski Association (RSA) from FIS related activities,” the federation said in a statement published on its website.

“However, it hereby issues a warning and expects full cooperation and support in the implementation of the IOC [International Olympic Committee] Decisions concerning Russian athletes and support personnel. It furthermore expects full cooperation in respecting the decisions of the FDP [FIS Development Programme] and eventual subsequent decisions of CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport].”

The governing body added it will take appropriate actions against the RSU if evidence “showing possible involvement of the RSA in the Sochi 2014 conspiracy” is presented. It also noted that stringent measures will be implemented against Russia if new doping cases surface.

“If the FIS Council deems that inadequate measures have been taken, and/or the RSA has not fully co-operated with the investigations; and/or there are additional doping cases which have arisen in addition to the dis-closures in the IOC Commission Reports and IOC Disciplinary Commission; and/or and evidence showing possible involvement of the RSA in the Sochi 2014 conspiracy, they reserve the right to take additional measures against the RSA.”

The FIS stated it has no intention of canceling international ski events scheduled to take place in Russia, saying that they will be held as planned in accordance with the FIS calendar.

“The international skiing and snowboarding events listed in the FIS Calendar for the 2017-2018 season that have been assigned to Russia can take place as scheduled.”

Earlier this year, the IOC handed life bans to 11 Russian skiers and annulled their results from the 2014 Games in Sochi as part of the investigation into alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia.

The IOC’s decision was based on the findings presented by two commissions, chaired by Denis Oswald and Samuel Schmid, who were tasked with compiling reports on Russia’s alleged doping violations, indicated in the McLaren report.

While The FIS initially decided against banning Russian skiers penalized by the IOC, making them eligible to compete in events under its guidance, it later toughened its stance on the issue by temporarily suspending all the athletes sanctioned by the IOC, including Olympic champions Alexander Legkov and Nikita Kriukov. The FIS noted that all the skiers "participated in a similar manner in the systematic [doping] conspiracy and benefited from the prohibited manipulations," which led the organization to issue mandatory suspensions to all the athletes "listed in the Duchess List.”

READ MORE: Putin calls Rodchenkov appointment ‘mistake’, says FBI may be ‘drugging’ disgraced doctor

The Duchess List is a list of athletes compiled by the former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory chief, Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the US at the end of 2015, where he became a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) informant.

Rodchenkov stated that he developed a three-drug cocktail named ‘Duchess,’ which he claimed to have given to Russian athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Rodchenkov’s testimony instigated the wave of sanctions against Russia which has led to the disqualification of more than 40 Russian athletes as well as to the provisional suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).