In a case that forced arbitrators into an unfamiliar role, 12 Russian track-and-field athletes, including an Olympic gold medalist and two world champions, have been penalized for participating in a state-backed doping scheme.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport, which normally hears appeals, stepped in to deliver the sanctions because the Russian track federation, which should have handled the cases, remains suspended in the long-running scandal.
The CAS suspensions, which range from two to eight years, included penalties against Ivan Ukhov, the high-jump champion from the 2012 London Olympics, and two gold medalists from the 2013 world championships, female high jumper Svetlana Shkolina and hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko.
Authorities ruled that “these athletes participated in and/or benefited from anabolic steroid doping programs” during the years when they won their medals.
The findings cited a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation that alleged extensive cheating among Russian athletes, coaches and officials.
The athletes can file appeals to a separate division of CAS.