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15 Feb, 2020 14:48

‘Dodgy decision’: Russian biathlon official questions controversial doping bans for former stars

‘Dodgy decision’: Russian biathlon official questions controversial doping bans for former stars

Vice president of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Sergey Chepikov says two-year bans imposed on Russian athletes Evgeny Ustyugov and Svetlana Sleptsova over alleged doping violations are “dodgy” and “incorrect.”

On Saturday, two former biathletes Evgeny Ustyugov and Svetlana Sleptsova were slapped with the doping bans over alleged doping violations which were based on the retrieved database from the Moscow Anti-doping Laboratory.

READ MORE: Russian Olympic Committee head Stanislav Pozdnyakov: 'Our main goal is to protect athletes'

The accusations were brought against the pair in respect of samples collected from them in 2013, one year before the Sochi Olympics where Ustyugov won gold in the men’s team relay race.

This is not right to talk about a positive doping test six years after the competition,” Chepikov said.

You can’t even imagine what a huge blow it is to an athlete. We need to introduce a certain time limit for doping checks otherwise violations can be found even 20 years after sporting events.

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It’s not clear who kept those samples and where they were stored. Someone who had access to the laboratory could have tampered the samples.

All these actions regarding the ban are beyond understanding. We need to change the rules to avoid similar situations in the future. We should apply efforts on hiring professional lawyers to overturn the verdict,” he added.

At the start of December, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Executive Committee voted to hand a four-year ban to Russia, prohibiting the country from taking part in and hosting international sporting events over alleged manipulations of Moscow laboratory data.

Russian officials said that the data was accessed from abroad by former laboratory chief Grigory Rodchenkov, whose accusations ignited a huge doping row over Russian sport.