World junior champion set to replace Russian biathlete that failed drug test

Leif Nordgren
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According to the Associated Press, the Russian Biathlon Union has announced that it will apply to have Olga Podchufarova join the Russian team to replace Irina Starykh, who tested positive in a recent drug test and withdrew from the Sochi Olympics.

Podchufarova won individual gold in the women’s 10km pursuit and silver in the 7.5km sprint during the 2013 World Junior Championship at Obertillach, Austria.

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Starykh, ranked sixth in the world among female biathletes, did not admit to taking a banned substance in a letter she wrote to the RBU that discloses her failed test. She also indicated in the letter that she wanted her “B” sample to be tested.

Prior to this season, in which she claimed two podium finishes in 13 races, Starykh had never finished better than 21st in a World Cup event. She had been a contender for a medal in Sochi.