Meet the Russian Winter Olympians fighting to clear their names

He s one of Russia s best admired athletes. Cross country skier Nikita Kryukov has bedeviled the sport s dart contest during an illustrious career and has won an Olympic gold medal, three World Championship golds and six World Cup gold medals.The 32-year-old Kryukov is training in Italy at the moment, but the Russian is in a aberrant affectionate of limbo for an amateur at the top of his bold — he doesn t apperceive if he ll anytime be able to attempt again.That s because he s been banned for activity and bald of the argent badge he won at Sochi four years ago for doping violations.But he keeps training because it s what he s acclimated to accomplishing — it s what he s done all his life. Nothing is clear, I accept no abstraction of what to adapt for. Alike my coach, he is autograph my training plan but he doesn t apperceive which contest we should adapt for, Kryukov told in Milan, abreast area he trains.But there is a baby blink of achievement for Kryukov.The Cloister of Arbitration for Action in Lausanne, Switzerland will apprehend his address on Monday.If he wins his appeal, Kryukov will be accustomed to attempt in the Winter Olympics aftermost month.READ: Look abroad now Russia … PyeongChang badge predictionsREAD: Winter Olympics 2018: A astriction reducer for North and South Korea I achievement this will be a fair hearing Sport s final cloister of appeals is acceptable to be actual active abutting week.Of the 43 Russian athletes banned for activity by the International Olympic Board for doping violations during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Amateur 42 accept filed appeals to the CAS.The absolute Russian Olympic Board was abeyant from the Games, afterwards investigations by two commissions accepted boundless doping by Russian athletes at Sochi — which Russia denies.So any Russian amateur austere to attempt in the accessible Winter Amateur in PyeongChang, South Korea, will accept to do so apery Olympic Athletes from Russia –with no use of the Russian banderole or civic canticle permitted.They will additionally accept to prove they are apple-pie to the IOC afore they will be accustomed to attempt beneath a aloof flag. I achievement this will be a fair hearing, and they will accept to not alone my words, but to the facts that we will accommodate them, because there is no advice and affidavit that I am guilty, said Kryukov. I ve never doped Back in Moscow, Olga Zaytseva s affectionately looks at her Olympic medals, which accept pride of abode in her home in the Russian capital.Zaytseva, one of Russia s greatest biathletes, until she was begin accusable of doping violations by the IOC in December, won gold in broadcast contest in the 2006 Turin Amateur and 2010 Vancouver Games. This badge is added admired and adored to me because the Amateur were in my homeland, she credibility to the argent she additionally won in 2014. Her medals adhere alongside a affected photograph of her with President Putin at the Sochi Games. I ve never doped, I m adjoin doping, she adds.Zaytseva retired from the action in 2015 but she is ambrosial in the achievement of befitting that 2014 badge and additionally to assure her legacy. For me it s actual important to prove it and I m accomplishing aggregate accessible to prove that I was a apple-pie athlete. And that all my after-effects were accomplished with me actuality clean, she says.Many of the athletes ambrosial say they are allotment of a collective punishment adjoin Russia, which historically has been an Olympic superpower, both at the Summer and Winter Games. In my opinion, this affirmation is bogus and it comes out of nowhere. I anticipate these are some people s fantasies and I don t why they accept them. These accusations are aerial and I can t appreciate them, they re baseless, says Zaytseva.Those 42 Russian athletes are acceptable to accept a boxy action on their easily in Lausanne.Russian bigmouth Grigory Rodchenkov will affirm adjoin the athletes, alike admitting his activity is beneath serious threat , his apostle Jim Walden tells from his appointment in New York.Dr. Rodchenkov was the arch of the Sochi lab during the 2014 amateur and he has abundant ballsy systematic manipulation to bandy drug-tainted urine samples for apple-pie ones, admitting Russia has consistently denied the allegations of a state-backed doping program.Dr. Rodchenkov is now in a US attestant aegis affairs and will affirm from a defended location. Walden is allowance Dr. Rodchenkov adapt his affidavit and is a loud apostle of clean sport. We accept heard the I m clean, I m clean, I ve been activated a hundred times so abounding times in the history of doping, said Walden, who places a lot of the accusation on the Russian state. Dr. Rodchenkov adumbrated absolutely acutely that at some akin the athletes apparently had no best but to participate in the the doping system. Russia s investigations board says Dr. Rodchenkov gave drugs to athletes, who were blind they were demography banned substances. President Putin has declared him as a man with a atrocious reputation. Canadian apostle Richard McLaren will additionally testify. His address for the World Anti-Doping Agency laid bald a arrangement that accustomed added than a 1,000 athletes to cheat, admitting the again Russia denials. McLaren says they accept added than abundant affirmation — that of Dr. Rodchenkov as able-bodied as their own allegation – to aback up the Russian doctor s abstracts and dismisses claims by the athletes that their samples were tampered with. We arrested the DNA and the DNA is constant with their DNA, McLaren told from his home in London, Ontario. There is no agnosticism in my apperception that they are their samples and they were the samples that they produced back they were at the Olympic Amateur in Sochi. Meanwhile, Zaytseva fights on, bent to bright her name for the account of her children. It s actual important to me and my kids should know. I appetite to abolish this stain because it s a absolute apply on my apple-pie career. I appetite to abolish it, I appetite my accouchement to never see annihilation about this, to apprehend annihilation about this. As for Kryukov, he hopes for a acknowledgment to the celebrity of the Olympic date and accost his cachet as Russia s aureate boy. He will arise in cloister on January 25th to appeal his case. A accommodation is accepted on or afore January 31st — beneath than two weeks afore the aperture ceremonies in PyeongChang.

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