IBSF President Ivo Ferriani says Alexander Zubkov should be treated as innocent until proven guilty ©IBSF

International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) President Ivo Ferriani insists he is paying little attention to accusations that Russian Federation of Bobsleigh (RBF) head Alexander Zubkov was involved in a doping scheme at Sochi 2014, claiming he only listens to "facts" and that the two-time Olympic champion should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. 

Ferriani also refused to be drawn on whether the IBSF would attempt to remove Zubkov, winner of the two and four-man events at the Winter Olympics two years ago, from his position should the claims be proven by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission.

Zubkov, the replacement for Georgy Bedzhamov, who fled Russia earlier this year amid corruption allegations, was among 15 Russian athletes named in The New York Times by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's discredited laboratory in Moscow, as having been part of a doping programme in the build-up to Sochi 2014.

Rodchenkov claimed this included ingesting a "three-drug cocktail" of banned steroids which were mixed with alcohol, as well as a covert system to replace the urine of affected medal winners with clean samples using soda containers and baby bottles.

Zubkov's appointment as the President of the RBF caused controversy due to his alleged involvement in the scheme, which has raised further doubts about whether Russian athletes should be allowed to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Zubkov, who retired after Sochi 2014, has denied the accusations.

Ferriani, who is set to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Session in Rio ahead of the Games, says the governing body, who were holding their annual Congress here today, would take the "right solution for him and for everybody" once the verdict has been delivered.

IBSF President Ivo Ferriani was speaking following the conclusion of the body's annual Congress
IBSF President Ivo Ferriani was speaking following the conclusion of the body's annual Congress ©IBSF

"Any items regarding doping, I deal only with facts," the 56-year-old Italian told insidethegames here.

"I strongly believe what President [Thomas] Bach said about protecting clean athletes, it doesn’t matter which nation.

"Until you are proven guilty you are innocent so in this case I don’t want to open any issues because I have followed and am waiting for the investigation from IOC and from WADA.

"If anybody is officially accused we will apply our rules without tolerance.

"The fact will be given by the IOC and WADA.

"When the fact will be declared we will take the right solution for him and for anybody."

The election of Zubkov as RBF President marked the latest issue facing the governing body in the doping-plagued nation, with Russia still trying to have predecessor Bedzhamov extradited.

A court in Moscow in March ordered the arrest of Bedzhamov, co-owner of Vneshprombank, and charged him with an illegal withdrawal of bank assets worth 235 billion roubles (£2.4 billion/$3.4 billion/€3 billion).

An international arrest warrant for fraud charges was issued and Bedzhamov was arrested in Monaco in April.

The 52-year-old millionaire businessman had left Russia in January following the arrest of his sister Larisa Markus the previous month on accusations of fraud.

Both face 10 years in prison if found guilty.