Irina Starykh, the sixth-ranked women’s biathlete in the world this season, will likely not be representing Russia at the Sochi Olympics after saying she was told she failed a drug test Thursday.
“I have received a notification from the IBU [International Biathlon Union] in which it is stated that one of my tests gave a positive result,” Starykh wrote in a letter to the Russian Biathlon Union, which was translated by R-Sport. “This news was a major unexpected event for me. Believe me that I respectfully regret that this story is linked with my name. … I do not have the right or the desire to let down the girls and the whole team.”
Starykh, 26, did not admit to taking a banned substance in the Russian Biathlon Union article and said she wanted her “B” sample tested, according to the letter.
The news came one day after the International Biathlon Union said two Russian biathletes and one Lithuanian biathlete had tested positive but did not name the athletes or the substances.
Starykh had never finished better than 21st in a World Cup event before making two podiums over 13 races this season. She was the top-ranked Russian woman this season and seen as a medal threat in Sochi.
The last time a Winter Olympic medal was stripped came via a female Russian biathlete. In 2006, Russian Olga Pyleva lost a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
The world’s best men’s biathlete and the top American chimed in on Twitter on Wednesday, before Starykh was confirmed to have tested positive.
Amazing race to catch most decorated Winter Olympian ever
Katie Ledecky rewrote the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center pool record book in her first college home meet.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist broke pool records in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in a dual meet with Washington State on Thursday.
Ledecky clocked 1:44.18 in the 200-yard free, which broke Olympic champion teammate Simone Manuel‘s mark of 1:44.34 from last year.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 1:42.42. Ledecky’s personal best in the event is 1:41.04. The American record is 1:39.10 by Missy Franklin.
About 45 minutes later, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.43, breaking 2008 Olympian Julia Smit‘s pool record of 4:41.74.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 4:31.33. Ledecky’s personal best is 4:26.58, which doubles as the American record.
Ledecky passed up millions in endorsement dollars to swim collegiately.
The Stanford women’s swim team hosts Texas on Nov. 12, streamed live.
MORE: Phelps, Ledecky lead Golden Goggle nominees
Nick Symmonds, the outspoken two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, said he thinks he’s going to try and compete one more season.
“I really want to make one more worlds team,” Symmonds said in a Facebook video Thursday. “I’ve just got to make sure my ankle holds up.”
Symmonds, 32, last raced May 18 and missed the Olympic Trials due to a left ankle injury. He said Thursday that he’s 100 percent healthy and running 40 miles per week.
On June 30, Symmonds said after withdrawing before the Olympic Trials that he “could possibly” compete one more year, but the decision would come down to whether his apparel sponsor, Brooks, wanted to extend his contract beyond 2016.
The 2013 World Championships silver medalist said he had accomplished all of his running goals except for winning an Olympic medal (he was fifth in 2012) and completing a marathon.
In 2015, Symmonds won his sixth U.S. 800m title but missed the world championships due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.
Once he retires, Symmonds has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.
MORE: Devon Allen: I can still be a 2-sport athlete