3 Russian biathletes banned from World Championship
It has been confirmed by the Swiss anti-doping laboratory that three Russian biathletes were using prohibited substances.
The results have been published on the official International Biathlon Union (IBU) website.
After uncertain results initially, this follow-up test has finally determined the presence of drugs in the athletes.
The names of the athletes were officially revealed on Friday 13 at a press conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the World Biathlon Championship will take place starting on Saturday 14.
According to the info leaked out earlier, they turned out to be two leading members of the woman's national biathlete team, Ekaterina Yuryeva and Albina Akhatova, and one member of the men's national team, Dmitry Yaroshenko. All three of them have left the South Korean city of Pyeongchang and departed for Russia.
The first information to come out that three Russians had cheated was on February 2. Two days later the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote that three athletes had been caught doping.
During the course of the analysis Russian representatives attempted to ‘open scientific discussions’ and show that the detected substances could not be considered doping for formal reasons.
The Russian side was represented by a member of the medical board of the International BiAthletes Union (IBU), a lawyer, and an expert on the fight against doping and head of the medical center of the Continental Hockey league.
Besides disqualification from the World Biathlon Championship, the athletes face a possible ban from future Winter Olympic Games.
A special investigation commission will also be formed in the Union of Biathletes of Russia, Ves Sport reports, which will consist of representatives of the Russian anti-doping agency, specialists in sports medicine and sports law.
“We will figure this out and bring order,” said a high-ranking official of the union.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities are stating they will investigate thoroughly the circumstances which led to the bans.
Former swimming great Dmitry Volkov – a ten-time world record holder and 100m breaststroke specialist – now serves as presidential advisor on the Russian Olympic Committee, and has said the World Anti-Doping Agency is breaking procedural norms in their testing.