Dope test casts gloom over biathletes

Russian athletics is embroiled in a drugs scandal after three national biathletes tested positive for the banned blood-booster, EPO.

The winter sport's domestic governing body confirmed the positive drug tests on Tuesday.

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) did not specify how many athletes were found to have taken the banned substance. But reports in the Russian media say two women competitors and a man are on the list.

The biathlon is composed of two disciplines: cross country skiing and shooting.

IBU Secretary General Nicole Resch said on Wednesday the results of conclusive test are not expected for at least two weeks.

`I can confirm that there are positive 'A' samples from IBU athletes but not that there was actual doping,' she said.

If drug use is confirmed, the athletes can say farewell to their dreams of participating in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.