Late on Thursday, the International Olympic Committee revealed that it had banned four athletes from Russia for what it referred to as doping violations. This, on the other hand, didn’t go well with the Russian president Vladimir V. Putin who was critical of the decision by the body. The Olympics committee said that four members had been disqualified from future participation and they were also stripped of the medals that they had won during the Olympics. The four athletes were Maksim Vylegzhanin, Evgeniya Shapovalova as well as Alexey Petukhov and Yuliia Ivanova. The International Olympics Committee also ordered these athletes to return three silver medals that they received during the winter Olympics. The announcement was made by officials who had Spanish and Swiss descents. However, this didn’t prevent Vladimir V. Putin from saying that the decision had been made by the Americans in an effort to affect the Russian election that will be held next year in March. He said that the decision had been influenced by international sports dependencies and connections. He said that since most of the companies involved in TV rights of the Olympics are based in America, the decision was therefore influenced by USA in one way or the other. Vladimir V. Putin further said that he had deep suspicions that the decision was made to ensure that there is discontent among Russian voters who are also sports fans. He said that since Russia was being accused of interfering with the US elections, they want to return the favor.
The disciplinary decisions on Thursday were the first by the Olympic officials in relation to the nationwide doping program that was carried out by Russia. This includes the Sochi Games in which the Russian Federal Security Service made it possible for the country’s sports officials to stage-manage a plan that enabled the officials to cheat throughout the competition. Mid last year, 28 Russian athletes who had participated in the Sochi games were suspended by the Olympic committee pending further investigation. Early this month, the International Olympic Committee announced that it had banned two Russian cross-country skiers namely Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov. These are the two athletes that finished first and second in the Sochi games. Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov refuted claims by Vladimir V. Putin saying that the decision to ban the athletes was made by officials who had been appointed one year ago. The International Olympics Committee could not comment on the comments made by Vladimir V. Putin.