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International Biathlon Union Says Four Russians Violated Doping Rules

Russia's biathlete Svetlana Sletptsova (file photo)
Russia's biathlete Svetlana Sletptsova (file photo)

The International Biathlon Union said on August 30 that four Russian biathletes have allegedly committed anti-doping violations, but did not disclose their identities.

The union did not provide any additional information regarding the alleged offenses, nor did it identify the events in which the four biathletes had competed.

The Russian Biathlon Union said that three of the four biathletes charged with doping had retired, and that one was not currently on the national team.

The Russian union said it can legally name the athletes charged with doping 14 days after they have been individually notified of their alleged violations.

Russian media reports claimed the biathletes targeted include Svetlana Sleptsova, former junior world champion, Aleksandr Chernyshev, and Yevgeny Ustyugov, the 2010 Olympic mass start champion.

Ustyugov told the website: "I don't know anything about this. Why are these suspicions coming now, four years after I finished my career?"

In May, Russian biathlete Yekaterina Glazyrina was banned for two years, after being suspended during the 2017 world championships.

A string of doping scandals have rocked Russian sports in recent years and shaped the country's relations with international sports bodies, leading to the ban of hundreds of Russian athletes from the Summer and Winter Olympics and other major sporting events since 2015.

Russia has acknowledged that individual athletes might have used banned drugs, but it has denied the state was involved in any doping scheme. Russia's sports institutions have pledged to curb the usage of banned performance-enhancing substances in the future.

But despite three years of efforts to clean up Russian sports, the country's athletics federation, its anti-doping agency RUSADA, and its Paralympic Committee remain suspended by international sporting bodies over doping allegations.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa

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