Four more Russian athletes have been banned from the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday, stripping bobsledders and speed skaters of their 2014 Winter Games medals amid the country's widespread doping scandal.
As Reuters reported from Moscow, Alexander Zubkov, Olga Stulneva, Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev have all been permanently barred from Olympics participation for their part in what the Associated Press has deemed an illegal "state-backed doping program."
Zubkov, a two-time gold medalist, serves as the president of the Russian Bobsled Federation. Fatkulina, meanwhile, captured a silver medal for Russian speed skating in the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
Russia itself is alreadyfrom the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, as the World Anti-Doping Agency has claimed the country has been non-compliant in its anti-doping standards. The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide on Russia's eligibility for the Winter Games, examining alleged doping schemes between athletes and Russian officials.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has maintained that the doping allegations are serving as fuel for the United States to. He has not explicitly addressed the specific athletes targeted for doping, but he has accused the U.S. of using the scandal "to discredit his government."