Russian race walkers banned

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Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Five Russian race walkers, including three Olympic champions, have been handed doping bans, the country’s anti-doping agency has announced.

Sergey Kirdyapkin, who took gold in the 50 kilometres walk at London 2012, has been banned for three years and two months.

His suspension has been backdated to October 2012, meaning he will be eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Kaniskina Olga, who took 20km gold in Beijing in 2008, received the same ban, while Sergey Bakulin, the 50km champion from the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, was banned for three years and two months, backdated to December 2012.

Valeriy Borchin, the 2008 Olympic 20km champion, has been banned for eight years and Vladimir Kanaykin for life.

The Russian anti-doping agency said in a statement that the bans were handed down because of abnormalities in the athletes’ biological passports.

No Olympic medals will be affected by the bans, although five World Championship golds from 2009 and 2011 could be reallocated.

It is the latest chapter in the doping scandal which has engulfed Russian athletics. World governing body the IAAF is already involved in a major investigation into allegations from German broadcaster ARD that doping and cover-ups are rife in the country.

Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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