IOC bans three more Russian athletes for life over doping

Anastasia Dotsenko of Russia crashes as she competes in the FIS World Cup cross-country skiing 3.1km free individual race in Oberhof, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

LAUSANNE (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday it had banned two Russian cross-country skiers, Yulia Chekaleva and Anastasia Dotsenko, and Russian biathlete Olga Zaytseva for life from the Olympics over Sochi 2014 doping allegations.

The IOC is re-testing all Russian athletes' samples from the event after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's discredited anti-doping laboratory, blew the whistle on what he said was a state-sponsored doping programme.

The three Russian athletes are found to have committed anti-doping rule violations at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and are disqualified from the events in which they participated, the IOC statement said.

Chekaleva and Dotsenko competed but did not win medals in Sochi. Zaytseva won the silver medal in a four-woman race.

The number of cases opened by the Disciplinary Commission has reached 36 after additional findings from the re-analyses, the IOC said.

The head of the Russian Ski Race Federation, Elena Vyalbe, said the IOC decisions would be appealed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, the RIA news agency reported.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that allegations that Russian athletes used doping during the 2014 Sochi Olympics are "political manipulations" in a new anti-Russian campaign.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Writing by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by William Maclean)