Russian dopers refuse to give up medals

Maxim Dyldin (right) is one Russian athlete who is determined to keep his Olympic bronze medal.
Maxim Dyldin (right) is one Russian athlete who is determined to keep his Olympic bronze medal. Alastair Grant

ATHLETICS: No Russian athlete stripped of their Olympic titles for doping have returned their medals, according to the country's Olympic committee.

disqualified for doping offences after retesting. Another 10 are also obliged to return medals they won as part of relay teams containing dopers.

Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov said recovering medals was "not an easy process.” "So far, we don't have any reports of (medals being returned),” Zhukov said. Some Russian athletes have said they want to keep their medals while they prepare an appeal, but others have refused to give them up.”

In contrast, Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt said he gave up his 4x100m relay gold from the 2008 Beijing Olympics as soon as teammate Nesta Carter was disqualified last week.

One Russian runner and member of the bronze-medal winning Russian team disqualified in the 4x400 relay at the 2008 Games, Maxim Dyldin, said in an interview with a local newspaper "our ministry didn't agree with the decision and told us to keep the medals. I've got the medal at home. Let them try to take it.”

If athletes do not return the medals voluntarily, it remains unclear what steps the IOC could take to force them. Any legal proceedings could be time-consuming, taking in multiple jurisdictions as well as the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Further complicating matters, many of the athletes are retired and would not be affected by sports sanctions.

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