‘Nothing to hide’: Russian athletes undress to celebrate Sochi Olympics anniversary (PHOTOS)
All of the athletes participating in the Sochi-dedicated project posed naked holding a picture of them performing at the home Winter Games five years ago.
The extravagant photo shoot, organized by Team Russia, united many prominent athletes, including Olympic champions Victor An (short track), Ekaterina Bobrova, and Dmitri Soloviev (figure skating), along with Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov (figure skating) who won gold and silver in Sochi.
“There is nothing to hide, we have something to be proud of. From Sochi 2014 to Beijing 2022,” the photo gallery was titled, proclaiming continuity of generations in sport.
As the hosts of the 2014 Games, Team Russia finished first in the unofficial medal standings earning 13 Olympic titles, a result which allowed them to surpass winter sports powerhouse Norway by two gold medals.
However, Russia’s tremendous achievement at the home Games was later marred by a huge doping scandal which led to sanctions against the country after it was accused of multiple doping violations.
Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, who was commissioned by the World Anti-doping Agency to hold an investigation, stated in his report that Russian athletes had benefited from alleged state-sponsored doping.
Despite no evidence being presented to prove doping allegations, many Russian athletes were slapped with life bans from competing and stripped of medals won in Sochi.
Among other sanctions imposed on Russia was a blanket ban on the athletics team ahead of 2016 Rio Summer Games, and Russia’s exclusion from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, where national athletes performed under a neutral status.
The row impacted Russia’s reputation with many sports bodies, including the athletics federation (RUSAF) and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) being suspended for alleged doping violations.
However, one month before the 2018 Games the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared 28 Russian athletes and dropped their life bans, stating that evidence presented by WADA was “insufficient” to establish that “an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes.”
Last autumn, WADA reinstated Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency which had been suspended for more than three years, ending the doping saga.Also on rt.com Bryzgalova or Jolie? Hottest Russian curler takes up role of Tomb Raider (PHOTOS)