Russian doping scandal: Six cross-country skiers have provisional bans upheld…

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Six cross-country skiers have seen their provisional doping bans upheld after a failed appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Cas said the suspensions – which are based on evidence from the McLaren report into state sponsored doping in Russia – should stand until October 31.

The six athletes, including medalists from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, were named as having had urine samples tampered with at the Games.

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Bans upheld: Alexaner Legkov (centre) and Maxim Vylegzhanin were two of six Russian skiers banned by the FIS in January. Both won medals at the Sochi Olympics

The International Ski Federation (FIS) imposed the original ban in January.

In a statement Cas said: ‘In the absence of any anti-doping rule violation having been assessed against any of the athletes so far, the temporary suspension shall lapse and the athletes shall be allowed to compete again

‘A further provisional suspension may be imposed on the athletes by the International Ski Federation after that date, and would be subject to appeal.’

The decision to uphold the bans relates to athletes Alexey Petukov, Evgenia Shapovalova, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov and Julia Ivanova.

Legkov won the gold medal in the men’s 50km freestyle in Sochi, with Vylegzhanin taking the silver medal. Both were in Russia’s men’s 4x10km relay team, which won a silver medal. Vylegzhanin also won a further silver medal in the men’s team sprint.

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