'Disqualified for life' — Athletes react to lifelong Winter Olympic bans

Russian winter athletes shared their feelings upon receiving lifelong bans from competing professionally in their respective sports last November. Skeleton racer Olga Potylitsina was shocked to discover that she had received a lifelong ban. In an interview, she said, «just think of it. Disqualified for life. Even those who dope on purpose, who are caught and who are proved to be guilty, they are... Еще disqualified for a period of time and then return.» European skeleton champion Elena Nikitina was confident that the decision would not change her preparations for next years' Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. «Of course, we are preparing for the Olympics, because we believe that truth is on our side and that it is impossible to ban us from the Olympics without any evidence.» Skeleton racer Alexsandr Tretyakov and cross-country skier Alexei Petukohv both denied allegations of doping. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced in a press conference in Lausanne it would ban Russia from participating at the next Winter Olympics 2018, allowing clean Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag.

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