- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MOSCOW (AP) - Alexander Zubkov is stepping down as president of the Russian bobsled federation after being banned for two years for doping at the Olympics.

Zubkov carried the Russian flag at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics and won two bobsled gold medals which were later stripped for doping. He denies taking any banned substances.

“Today I presented the board with a personal statement that I am stepping down for the duration of my disqualification,” which runs through December 2020, Zubkov told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

He added he could return to the post when the ban ends.

“It will become clearer what future prospects I have and how I can go about it,” he said. “So far, I’ve taken this decision and it’s been accepted by the board.”

Zubkov was banned last week by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, which accepted an earlier Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict that he had been part of a Russian doping and cover-up scheme at the Sochi Games.

Zubkov said Elena Anikina, a longtime sports official who worked on Russia’s bid to host the Sochi Olympics, will serve as acting president.

The decision to step down follows months of legal maneuvers in Russia by Zubkov.

In November, he won a ruling from a Moscow court that the earlier CAS verdict did not apply in Russia - in theory meaning he was legally recognized as an Olympic champion but only in his home country. An appeal against that ruling by the Russian Olympic Committee, with backing from the International Olympic Committee, was rejected this month.

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