ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has said the organisation will tell Alexander Zubkov to stand down ©Getty Images

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will ask Alexander Zubkov to "immediately" stand down as President of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF) after he was given an two-year doping ban, President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has announced.

Zubkov was among four Russian bobsledders, alongside Alexander Kasjanov, Aleksei Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin, suspended by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) for their involvement in the doping scheme orchestrated by the host nation at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The RBF head has been ordered to return the gold medals he claimed at Sochi 2014 after he was found to have been a knowing participant in the doping operation but has so far refused to do so.

The decision from the IBSF yesterday said the four were barred from participating "in any competition or activity", including serving as an official in a National Federation.

It means Zubkov will be unable to carry out his duties as RBF President until his suspension expires on December 12, 2020.

His suspension has prompted the ROC to pressure Zubkov into stepping down, with Pozdnyakov urging the RBF to call an election to choose his successor.

insidethegames understands Zubkov could relinquish his role for the duration of his ban before returning once it has expired.

The RBF could also be banned by the IBSF if Zubkov refuses to stand down.

Alexander Zubkov, second left, was given a two-year doping ban by the IBSF yesterday ©RBF/Facebook
Alexander Zubkov, second left, was given a two-year doping ban by the IBSF yesterday ©RBF/Facebook

Pozdnyakov added he was fearful a failure to do so from Zubkov would damage the relations between the ROC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has demanded the 44-year-old return his two Olympic gold medals, and could even lead to the National Olympic Committee being suspended.

"On our behalf, we will be asking the RBF to immediately execute the decision of the International Federation, which stipulates an early termination of powers of Alexander Zubkov in the capacity of the President, and to convene a session of the top management of the RBF for electing a new head of the organisation," Pozdnyakov said.

"It is of vital importance to understand that in line with our charter, ROC's membership may be suspended by a decision of the Executive Board over actions, which are in violation of the basic principles of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Charter of the IOC and the National Olympic Committee.

"I hope that we will manage to solve the problem jointly in line with standard procedures, otherwise the whole work of the ROC and its cooperation with international sports organisations will be undermined."

Zubkov was sanctioned after the IOC found him guilty of knowingly participating in the "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system at Sochi 2014.

The case against him is said to be one of the strongest as his sample included "physiologically impossible levels of salt".

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) also ruled that he had provided clean urine before Sochi - a key barometer in establishing guilt of the individual athletes involved.

This stance was accepted by the IBSF Disciplinary Panel which had access to CAS reasoned decisions on all four athletes.

A court in Moscow recently refused to recognise the CAS ruling against Zubkov, claiming it should not apply on Russian territory.

It effectively means Russia still recognises Zubkov as a double Olympic champion.