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Five Russian Race Walkers Suspended For Using Banned Drug

Race walkers at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in August.
Race walkers at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in August.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has suspended five Russian race walkers for four years after they tested positive for using the blood booster EPO.

The five, including 2013 world championship silver medalist Mikhail Ryzhov, all failed the drug tests in June 2015 at Russia's national training center in Saransk.

Also suspended were former European championship medalist Ivan Noskov, Elmira Alembekova, Vera Sokolova, and Ivan Noskov.

The sanctions were imposed by the Swiss-based arbitration court on October 13 because the Russian track and field federation is currently itself under suspension by world athletics authorities.

A World Anti-Doping Agency investigation last year found that athletes and coaches had tried to obstruct drug testers from collecting samples during the out-of-competition controls that caught the five race walkers.

The Saransk center was then under the control of coach Viktor Chegin, who was banned for life in March. More than 25 of his athletes have failed drug tests.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

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