Sun, 07 Jun 2020

MOSCOW -- The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has appealed a Moscow court ruling which sought to overturn the doping disqualification of a Russian athlete who had won two gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

On November 21, the Moscow City Court ruled that bobsledder Aleksandr Zubkov could keep his medals because a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to uphold his disqualification wasn't valid in Russia.

But the ROC says it filed an appeal on December 5 against the Moscow court's decision on grounds that the ruling violates the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

The ROC statement on December 6 said the CAS ruling was valid under international law.

It warned that ignoring the ruling could lead to 'the toughest sanctions' against Russia from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) -- 'up to barring Russian athletes from taking part' in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as members of a Russian Olympic team.

The ROC also said the Moscow court's ruling could 'give rise to doubt that Russia truly observes the main principles of the fight against doping.'

Russian courts, including the Moscow City Court, are not authorized to overrule decisions made by international arbitration courts, the ROC said.

Zubkov carried the Russian flag at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, where he won gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled events.

But the IOC disqualified Zubkov in 2017 in a case of allegedly faked samples stored in his name.

That verdict was upheld by CAS when Zubkov appealed.

With reporting by AP RFE/RL

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