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FIS Lifts Provisional Suspensions for Eight Russians

In a press release on Thursday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) declared that it has lifted the provisional suspensions for eight Russian athletes in accordance with the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to overturn those athletes’ doping bans.

That means that Evgeniy Belov, Alexander Bessmertnykh, Nikita Kriukov, Alexander Legkov, Natalia Matveeva, Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova, and Maxim Vylegzhanin are cleared to compete in FIS-sanctioned races, including World Cups.

“The International Ski Federation (FIS) fully respects the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decisions announced today,” the release stated. “The decisions upheld the sanctions of 11 athletes in relation to anti-doping rule violations which include three Russian cross-country skiers (Julia Ivanova, Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko), while declaring that the other 28 athlete’s cases did not meet the threshold for the necessary level of evidence. These include cross-country skiers Evgeniy Belov, Alexander Bessmertnykh, Nikita Kriukov, Alexander Legkov, Natalia Matveeva, Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova, and Maxim Vylegzhanin.

“FIS will work together with all stakeholders to analyse the reasoned decisions very carefully once they are available,” it continued.

These athletes will not be at the upcoming Olympics, which open next week in PyeongChang.

“Regarding the participation of athletes from Russia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the FIS refers to the statement of the IOC that the decision of the Executive Board (EB) of 5 December 2017 remains in place,” the release noted. “This states that since the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is suspended, Russian athletes can participate in PyeongChang only on invitation of the IOC. The IOC has stated that, ‘The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.’ “

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