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Six Russian ice hockey players banned for doping

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Sweden’s Anna Borgqvist (L) vies with Russia’s Inna Dyubanok during the Women’s Ice Hockey Group B match at the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 13, 2014 © AFP/File / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

PARIS, France, Dec 12Six Russian ice hockey players have been disqualified from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics for doping, meaning their country has also been removed from official results.

Inna Dyubanok, Ekaterina Lebedeva, Ekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Ekaterina Smolentseva and Galina Skiba were all found to have committed doping violations by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following re-analysis of samples taken from the Sochi Games.

Proceedings against a seventh, unnamed, player were terminated and filed without her being found to have committed an anti-doping offence.

The six players have been “disqualified from the events in which they participated”, the IOC said while banning them from any future Olympics.

The Russian women’s team was also disqualified from the Sochi ice hockey competition and the IOC asked the International Ice Hockey Federation to modify its results from the event.

The Russian women’s team originally finished sixth.

Re-analysis of tests from Sochi have seen Russia lose 11 medals from the Games and subsequently been replaced by Norway at the top of the medals table.

Russia has been accused of state-sponsored doping of its athletes, reaching its zenith in Sochi.

Last week the IOC decided to ban Russia from next year’s 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, although individual athletes who prove to be clean can compete under a neutral flag.

The country also received a partial ban at last year’s Rio Summer Olympics after the original state-sponsored doping scandal was revealed following a World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned McLaren report found there had been government manipulation in the analysis of Russian doping samples.

The report by Canadian law professor and sports lawyer Richard McLaren found that two female ice hockey players’ doping samples contained male DNA — one of the factors that proved there had been government manipulation.

Last week, the IOC banned for life Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was the Russian Sports Minister during the Sochi Games.

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