Athletics

Russia bans four athletes for doping

Doping (File)
Doping (File)

Moscow - Russia's Olympic Committee (ROC) has banned four athletes for doping, as the country struggles to overturn a suspension on its track and field team that could see it miss the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic Committee said Irina Maracheva, an 800-metres medalist at the 2012 European championships, had been banned for two years, along with race walker Anna Lukyanova, for doping violations based on documents handed over by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Officials have also confirmed a four-year ban for the runners Yelena Nikulina and Maria Nikolayeva, the Olympic Committee said in a statement dated Sunday.

No more details of the reasons for the bans were given.

Russian athletics is currently mired in scandal following a bombshell report by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission alleging state-sponsored doping and mass corruption in the sport.

The IAAF provisionally suspended the Russian athletics federation in November, meaning that the track and field team cannot compete in international competitions.

The bans are the first handed out by ROC since it took control of the sport following the Russian federation's suspension.

The IAAF said Russia could only be reinstated if it fulfilled strict criteria, including compliance with all WADA and IAAF anti-doping rules and requirements.

An IAAF inspection team is due Monday to meet Russia's new athletics chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin in Moscow.

The two-day visit by the IAAF taskforce will be a "low-key meeting behind closed doors," Russian athletics federation spokeswomen Alla Glushchenko said.



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