doping

AP

Up to 70 Russian athletes could face doping charges

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MOSCOW (AP) — The number of Russian athletes accused of receiving banned treatments from a doctor could rise to 70, the country’s anti-doping agency said Wednesday.

The agency, known as RUSADA, previously said Monday it would file cases against 33 athletes from numerous sports suspected of receiving banned intravenous infusions.

RUSADA chief executive Yuri Ganus said that is just the “first package” of cases and a planned second package could take the number to 70.

The cases are all linked to a sports academy in central Russia’s Chuvashia region, a major center for track and field. RUSADA said many of the athletes were underage when they were given the infusions and some come from cycling, skiing and Paralympic sports.

They come as Russia seeks to have its ban from international track and field lifted in time to field a full team at the world championships in September and October. The Russian track federation has been banned since 2015 for widespread doping, though dozens from the country are allowed to compete as neutral athletes.

Ganus accused the Russian track federation, known as RusAF, of prioritizing cosmetic reforms over real cultural change.

“Over the course of four years we’ve spent a lot of time presenting athletics in a beautiful condition,” Ganus said. “We have enough material to say that RusAF cannot be reinstated in its current condition.”

Ganus also revealed that RUSADA is under two investigations from Russian authorities into its own conduct.

Ganus said Russian prosecutors were investigating a complaint that RUSADA employees exceeded their authority while looking into whether high jumper Danil Lysenko presented forged medical documents as an alibi for failing to notify drug testers of his whereabouts. Ganus said he believed the case originated with a complaint from someone unhappy with RUSADA’s work on doping cases.

The other matter involves tax authorities looking into a contract signed between RUSADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency, Ganus said.

RUSADA was reinstated by WADA last year, in the face of criticism from some Western athletes who believed Russia had not done enough to reform. Since then, RUSADA has increased its level of drug testing and pursued high-profile investigations into cases such as that of Lysenko and of seven athletes accused of training in secret in Kyrgyzstan with a banned coach.

MORE: Russia’s top track and field athlete slams ‘never-ending disgrace’

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Thirty-three Russians face new doping allegations

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MOSCOW — Thirty-three Russian athletes from a range of sports face doping cases for using banned treatments from a doctor, the Russian anti-doping agency said Monday.

The agency, known as RUSADA, plans to file cases against 19 track and field competitors — two of them athletes with disabilities — as well as five cyclists, a boxer and a gymnast.

The athletes haven’t been named, but RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pakhnotskaya told The Associated Press some were national team members.

They are suspected of receiving infusions of various substances. Under international anti-doping rules, athletes need a valid medical reason for any intravenous infusion over 100 milliliters in 12 hours, even if the substance itself isn’t ordinarily a banned drug. At least 11 of the athletes were underage at the time, Pakhnotskaya added.

All of the athletes in the new Russian case are from a sports academy in Chuvashia in central Russia, a region known for its track and field squads.

RUSADA said it reported a sports doctor to law enforcement under a Russian law against inducing athletes to dope. However, RUSADA said the case was closed after authorities ruled her conduct wasn’t a crime because she hadn’t been officially informed the treatment was banned.

MORE: Russia’s top track and field athlete slams ‘never-ending disgrace’

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Olympic marathon silver medalist banned four years

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Eunice Kirwa, the Olympic marathon silver medalist, has been banned four years for using EPO.

Kirwa, a 35-year-old from Bahrain (born in Kenya), finished second at the Rio Games behind Kenyan Jemima Sumgong, who is banned until 2027 for using EPO and then lying about it. Sumgong and Kirwa keep their Olympic medals because their doping violations came after the Games.

Kirwa, who was provisionally suspended in May, is now banned until May 2023.

Ethiopian Mare Dibaba finished third in Rio. Shalane FlanaganDes Linden and Amy Cragg were sixth, seventh and ninth, the first time the U.S. put three women in the top nine at an Olympics.

“After we crossed the finish line, Amy, Shalane and I sat around and chatted about the race,” Linden said in 2017, according to LetsRun.com. “I said it, like, ‘Within one year, we’ll all have bumped up two spots.'”

Kirwa, also the 2015 World Championships bronze medalist, last competed at the 2017 Worlds, where she placed sixth in the marathon.

Her brother, Felix Kirwa, was recently banned ninth months for a doping violation.

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