Russia’s goal was to get more medals and wins than any other country during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Instead, the host country became embroiled in a state-backed doping scandal that disqualified the wins and ostracized its teams from international and Olympic competition.
Those games were six years ago, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s anti-doping division has now stripped Russian biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov from Vancouver as well as Sochi Winter Games. This is a blow to Ustyugov personally, but this decision also means that Russia is no longer the top team. Norway was the top team with 11 gold medals.
Russia trying to appeal ban
The country is trying to move on from what the New York Times claims is among “the most tainted competition in sports history.” But Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rulings against the country continue since “whistleblower” Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow laboratory, came forward in 2016. The former anti-doping scientist now lives in the witness protection program here in the U.S., but he continues to provide information.
More cases to come
Thanks to continued investigations of the doping scandal, there are likely more penalties to hand down. Several more cases will be heard by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which has identified 578 suspicious samples from 298 Russian athletes after the agency got access to the laboratory data last year. Russia may strive to move on, but the country and its athletes seem certain to face continuing efforts to suspend them.