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  • CAS Rejects Russian Doping Appeals


    (ATR) Two Russian athletes have been stripped of their silver medals from the Beijing Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected appeals against doping bans.
    Tatyana Lebedeva must surrender two silver medals from Beijing 2008 (Wikimedia Commons)

    On Thursday, the CAS rejected the appeals of a total of three Russian athletes against IOC disciplinary decisions made in 2016 to disqualify them for doping.

    Tatyana Lebedeva, Beijing 2008 silver medalist in the long jump and triple jump, and javelin silver medalist Maria Abakumova were disqualified after re-testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid Turinabol.

    The CAS also dismissed the appeal of Russian track cyclist Ekaterina Gnidenko, who placed eighth in the Keirin track cycling race at the London 2012 Olympics.

    All three athletes filed appeals at the CAS seeking to have the decisions set aside.

    “The CAS panel found that the appellants were unable to prove that the testing methods adopted by the laboratories, which led to the positive findings against each of them, were not scientifically valid in accordance with the standard required to be applied,” the CAS said in a statement.

    News of the ruling comes as the IAAF Council prepares to discuss the fate of the Russian athletics federation at its meeting in Buenos Aires on Thursday and Friday.

    IAAF Council threatened Russia with expulsion in March (ATR)
    Russia was in March threatened with expulsion from the global athletics family unless it accelerated reforms of its anti-doping system following the state-sponsored doping scandal uncovered in two WADA investigations.

    On July 4, the IAAF approved the applications of another eight Russian athletes to compete as neutrals in international competitions.

    In all 67 Russians have now been cleared by the IAAF’s doping review body to compete in 2018 after satisfying conditions, including that they have undergone frequent doping tests. Another 62 applicants had their applications rejected.

    One of the hold-ups in the IAAF reinstating Russia, banned since November 2015, is the fact that the revamped Russian Anti-Doping Agency has yet to be approved and declared operational by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    Earlier this week, Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said RUSADA had met all requirements to comply with WADA’s demands.

    "We have dealt with all issues that we had to resolve in order to reinstate our organizations. We are currently working with our colleagues from international organizations on the issues of reinstatement," he was quoted by news agency TASS.

    The Russian athletics federation said that at least 30 of the country’s track and field athletes will compete in the European Athletics Championships taking place in Berlin Aug. 6 to 12, according to TASS. The IAAF may yet approve the applications of additional Russian athletes to compete as neutrals, swelling that number.

    The athletics championships in the German city are part of the inaugural European Championships being staged in Glasgow and Berlin next month. Over 11 days, the event will bring together the existing European Championships for athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon, while a new golf team championships is being held.

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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