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Russia Bans Five Athletes For Doping

The Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA) has suspended five athletes for doping offences.

The VFLA said on November 5 that marathon runner Maria Konovalova received a two-year ban and was stripped of results going back to 2009 because of irregularities in her biological passport, which monitors an athlete's blood profile. Konovalova finished second at the Chicago Marathon in 2010 and third in 2013.

Hammer thrower Maria Bespalova, who won the gold medal in the 2008 European Cup and competed at the 2012 London Olympics, was banned for four years after testing positive for a steroid.

Also banned were race-walker Evgeny Nushtaev and runners Vlas Bredikhin and Yaroslav Kholopov.

In January, the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) launched an independent commission to investigate doping practices in Russia after a documentary on the issue was broadcast on German television.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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