Alexander Legkov is among those likely to appeal the FIS suspension ©Getty Images

Russian cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Yevgeny Belov are reportedly among those to have appealed an International Ski Federation (FIS) suspension introduced due to their apparent implication in the McLaren Report.

No athletes were named by the FIS when they announced that six Russian cross-country stars would be provisionally suspended as an investigation continues into the possible manipulation of samples at events including the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.

But Russian national ski team coach Oleg Perevozchikov has now revealed four of those supposedly involved to the TASS news agency.

The names he provided included Legkov, the reigning Olympic 50 kilometres freestyle champion and a member of the silver medal winning 4x10km relay quartet, and Maxim Vylegzhanin, another member of the same relay team who also claimed 50km freestyle and team sprint silvers.

Belov, whose best finish in Sochi was 18th in the skiathlon event, and Alexei Petukhov, the 2013 team sprint world champion, were also named.

Their involvement does not necessarily mean they were personally aware of what was happening.

Legkov and Belov have now issued a joint statement in which they expressed hope their suspensions would be lifted before the start of the Tour de Ski on Saturday (December 31).

Yevgeny Belov is another Russian cross-country skier to have reportedly appealed the FIS suspension ©Getty Images
Yevgeny Belov is another Russian cross-country skier to have reportedly appealed the FIS suspension ©Getty Images

It was claimed that the interests of Legkov and Belov will be represented by a lawyer from Germany, "who intends to seek the cancellation of the provisional suspension of the athletes" before the start of the European stage event.

"The guys are most likely to miss the Tour de Ski, but still have the chance of taking part in the World Championship," Perevozchikov told TASS separately. 

"This is why that despite everything they continue practicing since we talk here about the suspension and not the ban."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-commissioned report spearheaded by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren found that more than 1,000 athletes had been involved in a state-sponsored doping scheme in the nation.

Out of a total of 95 samples given by Russian competitors at their home Winter Olympics provided to him by the International Olympic Committee, evidence of manipulation has been found in 28.

The six cross-country skiers came out of this total.

No timeline has been given for how long the investigation will take.

"The findings in the McLaren Report have seriously damaged the integrity of sport and we are determined to ensure the necessary measures are undertaken to punish the offences," said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper in a statement last week.

"We will work together with the Russian Ski Association to rehabilitate the Russian cross-country skiing community and we sincerely count on their commitment to clean sport."