Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 18 News List

CAS poised to rule on doping bans for Russian athletes

Reuters, MELBOURNE, Australia

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is to make a final ruling this week on “selective” doping bans handed out to six Russian athletes, including four Olympic champions.

CAS said in a statement it expected to issue decisions on the six cases by tomorrow.

The six athletes, including Olympic 50km walking champion Sergei Kirdyapkin and 3,000m steeplechase champion Yuliya Zaripova, were issued bans ranging from two years to life by Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA).

APPEAL

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appealed to CAS over the punishments in March last year, saying it disagreed with the “selective” disqualification of results that allowed the athletes to keep titles.

Kirdyapkin was handed a three-year, two-month suspension last year, but it was backdated to Oct. 2012, just after the London Olympics ended.

Most of his results from 2009 were annulled, but RUSADA left open a window so he could keep his Olympic gold medal.

Australia’s Jared Tallent, silver medalist behind Kirdyapkin, has long campaigned for the Russian’s Olympic title to be stripped.

BACKDATING

RUSADA in January banned Zaripova for two years, backdated to July 2013, and said her Olympic gold medal would be annulled, but not her 2011 world championships gold.

The other athletes banned by RUSADA, all of whom were race walkers, were former Olympic champions Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina, 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and Worlds silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin.

WADA REPORT

Russian athletics in November last year was banned from international competition following an explosive report by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which exposed systematic state-sponsored doping and related corruption.

The IAAF said earlier this month that Russia still had “significant work” to do for the ban to be lifted ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

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