On March 3, the Figure Skating Federation of Russia announced a ten-year ban of former Olympic figure skater Maria Sotskova. The following day, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) explained the disqualification in a press release.
According to the decision by the Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee of the agency, Sotskova in eligible to take part in the sport for ten years due to violating clauses 2.1, 2.2, and 2.5 of the All-Russian Anti-Doping Rules.
The numbered clauses are:
- The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites, or markers in a sample taken from an athlete;
- The use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or prohibited method;
- Falsification or attempted falsification in any part of doping control by an athlete or other person.
The ban is retroactively in effect starting from April 6, 2020.
Sotskova participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics and placed 8th in the ladies’ event. She has also placed 8th twice at the World Championships, 4th twice at the European Championships, and is a two-time medalist in the Russian Championships (bronze in December 2016 and silver in December 2017). The 20-year-old announced her retirement from competitive figure skating in July 2020 and gave her side of the story regarding the doping accusations in an interview in the Russian media this past October.