Russian Olympic flagbearer loses appeal in Sochi doping case

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its judges upheld two-year bans imposed by bobsled’s governing body on four athletes, including Alexander Zubkov.

Alexander Zubkov of Russia carries the national flag as he leads the team during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. - AP

Russia’s flagbearer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony lost his appeal against being banned for doping in a state-backed program to win a gold medal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its judges upheld two-year bans imposed by bobsled’s governing body on four athletes including Alexander Zubkov. He was disqualified after piloting his four-man crew to victory at Sochi.

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CAS said it dismissed their appeals, though also refused a World Anti-Doping Agency request to extend the two-year bans because of aggravating circumstances. The bans expire in December.

All four were banned in January, 2019 by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. It accepted an earlier CAS ruling that the four took part in Russia’s orchestrated scheme to swap steroid-tainted samples for clean urine.

Zubkov was later elected to lead Russia’s bobsled federation.