National Post (Latest Edition) - - POST SPORTS - Gra­ham Dun­bar And James Elling­worth, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Four more Rus­sian cross- coun­try skiers were found guilty of dop­ing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thurs­day, in­clud­ing three- time sil­ver medal­list Maxim Vylegzhanin. The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee said all four had their re­sults dis­qual­i­fied and have been banned from all fu­ture Olympics. Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin dis­puted the bans, say­ing that United States in­ter­ests were try­ing to use dop­ing scan­dals to dis­credit his gov­ern­ment and in­flu­ence the coun­try’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in March. “In re­sponse to our sup­posed in­ter­fer­ence in their elec­tions, they want to cause prob­lems in the Rus­sian pres­i­den­tial elec­tion,” Putin said, ac­cord­ing to com­ments re­ported by Rus­sian news agen­cies. The cases against the Rus­sians were built on ev­i­dence of a state dop­ing con­spir­acy de­tailed by World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren. With­out pos­i­tive dop­ing tests, the IOC dis­ci­plinary panel used ev­i­dence of coverups and tam­per­ing of sam­ple bot­tles first gath­ered last year by McLaren’s team.

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