Russian doping: GB bobsleigher hopes for upgrade to Sochi 2014 bronze

GB's bobsleigh team of Sochi 2014
Britain finished fifth in 2014 behind two Russian teams, runners-up Latvia and third-placed United States

Olympic bobsleigher Bruce Tasker says allegations of Russian cheating in the McLaren reports are the "biggest sporting scandal" of his lifetime.

The second report, in December, stated more than 1,000 Russian athletes may have benefited from state-sponsored doping from 2011-15.

Tasker's British four-man team finished fifth at the 2014 Sochi Olympics - behind two Russian teams.

When asked if he feels his team "won" bronze, he replied, "I kind of do."

Tasker told BBC Sport: "We were that close and we know that we competed clean.

"I trust that the people who are investigating the situation are taking every step that can be taken and it's just a matter of time before the truth comes out - whatever that may be."

Dmitry Trunenkov, a member of the Russian quartet that won gold in 2014, received a four-year ban at the end of January for a positive doping test.

The suspension was backdated to April 2016, which means he keeps his 2014 gold medal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating the findings of the McLaren reports, but has given no indication of a timeframe in which it will complete the process.

It is currently reallocating medals following retesting of samples from athletes who competed at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 summer Olympics.

If the two Russian four-man bobsleigh teams - who finished first and fourth - were disqualified, then a bronze for the British team would increase Team GB's Sochi 2014 haul to five medals, and thus make it their best ever Winter Olympics.

Russian four-man bobsleigh team
Dmitry Trunenkov helped Russia's four-man bobsleigh team win gold at the Sochi Olympics

"I think the fact that it would be the truth would be more important to me than actually receiving the medal itself, and I'm focused on trying to win another medal in Pyeongchang [in 2018]," said Tasker.

At Sochi 2014 Tasker was piloted by John Jackson, who along with Stuart Benson has since retired from the sport, and it is for Jackson and Benson that their other team-mate - Joel Fearon - feels most frustrated.

"It would have been great for my family to see me up on the podium and have a bronze medal in the house, but I at least have another chance," he told BBC Sport.

"Jacko and Stu won't be at another Olympics in bobsleigh so my main hurt is for them because it would have been a great way for them to go out."

Tasker and Fearon are part of the 16-strong British bobsleigh squad from which athletes will be picked for the World Championships, which take place in Konigssee, Germany from 17-26 February.

The event was originally due to be held in Russia but the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation, the international governing body, stripped Sochi of the hosting rights following the publication of the second McLaren report.

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold had threatened to boycott the event and Tasker believes it was the right decision to move the competition.

"Until things are properly and fully investigated I don't think it was safe to go to Sochi from a sporting perspective," he told BBC Sport.

"As a professional athlete we're required to provide whereabouts and provide samples at a moment's notice and I think it's only safe being done in a country that we can trust.

"At the moment, I don't think that country is Russia."

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