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Russian Bobsledder Gets Lifetime Olympic Ban Over Sochi Doping Allegations

Aleksei Voyevoda captured gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled at the Sochi Winter Games. (file photo)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says Russian bobsledder Aleksei Voyevoda has been banned for life from the Olympics after being found guilty of violating anti-doping rules at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The decision announced by the IOC on December 18 came two weeks after the Olympic movement's governing body banned Russia from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February over what it called "unprecedented systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system.

The IOC ruling on the Russian national team, however, does allow Russians to compete as neutral athletes in Pyeongchang if they can clear strict anti-doping hurdles.

Voyevoda, 37, captured gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled at the Sochi games, but the IOC said in its statement that it had disqualified both him and the Russian team from both events.

A 2016 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found widespread evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia across numerous sporting disciplines, including byzantine efforts to manipulate urine samples.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials continue to deny state involvement despite the evidence.

The IOC decision on Voyevoda raised the number of Russian athletes who have received lifetime Olympic bans over alleged doping violations at the Sochi games to more than 30.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP