Skip to comments.Member of Russian Sochi 2014 team reportedly among three biathletes to fail drugs tests
Posted on 01/29/2014 10:58:33 PM PST by Dave346
Irina Starykh, the reigning European champion selected for the Russian Olympic team, is reportedly among three biathletes who have failed drugs tests.
In what is a bitter drugs-related blow for the host nation with the Opening Ceremony of the Games just nine days away the suspension of three unnamed athletes - from Russia and Lithuania - was announced in a statement by the International Biathlon Federation (IBU).
The statement revealed "four adverse analytical findings were obtained in samples of three IBU athletes from Russia and Lithuania," and "the outcome of the test showed the presence of a non-specific substance."
It added: "According to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code, the IBU therefore provisionally suspended the respective athletes from any IBU competitions until the decision of the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel is reached.
"The respective athletes were all suspended provisionally, pending the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel's decision."
The statement also revealed, "due to the upcoming Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was informed accordingly."
Although there has been no confirmation it has been reported that the two Russian athletes are and Starykh and Ekaterina Iourieva, while it is thought that the Lithuanian implicated was also due to compete at Sochi.
A former top teenager who won junior world titles in 2007 and 2008, Starykh spent several years struggling before enjoying a superb winter season in which she won the European sprint title last month and secured an unlikely Olympic qualification.
Iourieva has not been selected in the Olympic team, but is another strong performer who won a world title in 2008 and has enjoyed success on the World Cup circuit this season.
She was also banned for two years in 2009 after being one of three high profile Russian biathletes to test positive for erythropoietin (EPO).
Whoever the athletes are, the news comes as another major blow for Russian authorities after a period riddled with drugs test failures, with swimming world champion Yulia Efimova one of 13 figures from various summer sports to be implicated in doping scandals last week.
There have also been several cases in the winter disciplines.
In December, national freestyle skiing champion Anna Orlovskaya was handed a two-year suspension for an unspecified "breach of anti-doping rules", before junior figure skater Oksana Nagalati was banned earlier this month for using the masking agent furosemide.
This followed the previous biathlon scandal where Turin 2006 gold medallist Albina Akhatova as well as former world champion Dmitri Yaroshenko were banned, in addition to Iourieva.
It is understood that, in response to the latest failures, the Russian Biathlon Federation is holding an emergency meeting of its Anti-Doping commission.
What means this non-specific substance? Unobtainium? Never mind.
Probably got caught using a drug or chemical known to mask PEDs
I believe these are athletes who do biathlon...cross country skiing and shooting.
Surprised the PEDs do not affect their shooting
PEDs don't work that way.