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Four Russian skeleton racers banned by IOC

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

After recent developments, the United States has the most medals from the 2014 Sochi Games. Four Russians, who were all skeleton racers, have been banned from competition by the International Olympic Committee for doping.

Alexander Tretyakov, a men’s gold medalist, and Elena Nikitina, a women’s bronze medalist, were stripped of their medals on Wednesday. When the Olympic games completed, Russia finished with the most medals with 13 gold and 33 overall.

Elena Nikitina seen here celebrating her bronze medal during the women's skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics (Photo by the Associated Press/Michael Sohn)

Elena Nikitina seen here celebrating her bronze medal during the women’s skeleton competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics (Photo by the Associated Press/Michael Sohn)

Now, as a result of this latest news, they have now been stripped of six medals from a state-sponsored doping program in Sochi. The samples previously were swapped in the laboratory to mask their illegal activities.

Two of the six medals that were forfeited were gold. The Russians are now tied with Norway with 11 gold medals; however, they fell behind the United States in the overall medal count. The Americans have 28 overall.

Russian now has 27 medals overall. Norway is third with 26 medals.

The count could change again should the IOC allow athletes, who finished behind the Russians, who were stripped of their medals, to receive medals. Maria Orlova and Olga Potylitsina, two Russian athletes, who did not receive medals in the games, were also banned on Wednesday.

Russian officials said those who were stripped of their medals will file an appeal.

“We are absolutely sure of the innocence of our athletes and will stand up for their rights,” the Russian Bobsled Federation said.

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