Russian Olympians Olga Vilukhina, Yana Romanova and Olga Zaytseva have life bans lifted

Olga Zaitseva, Yana Romanova, Ekaterina Shumilova and Olga Vilukhina of Russia
Romanova (second left) and Vilukhina (far right) won silver in the biathlon relay at Sochi 2014

Life bans handed to Russian biathletes Olga Vilukhina, Yana Romanova and Olga Zaytseva have been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The trio won silver in the 4x6 kilometre relay biathlon at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

But they had their medals stripped in 2017 and were banned following an investigation into Russian doping.

CAS lifted the bans against all three and said the results of Vilukhina and Romanova should be reinstated.

Vilukhina also won silver in the 7.5km sprint at the Sochi Games.

CAS ruled that the case against both Vilukhina and Romanova amounted to nothing more than the "suspicion of a potential anti-doping rule violation".

"The panel concluded that none of the acts alleged to have been committed by these two athletes had been established to its comfortable satisfaction," CAS said in a statement.

"The panel ordered that the findings and sanctions imposed upon Ms Vilukhina and Ms Romanova in the challenged decisions should be set aside and that their results in individual events at the Sochi Games should be reinstated."

CAS ruled that Zaytseva did commit a doping violation but that her ban should have only been applied until the next Olympics - the 2018 Pyeongchang Games - instead of a life ban from all future Olympic Games.

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