Beijing medals at risk for Russia after positive re-tests

Tue May 24, 2016 3:11pm EDT
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia could lose medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after 14 of its athletes tested positive for banned substances during re-tests conducted from eight-year-old samples, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said on Tuesday.

The ROC said in a statement that it had been informed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that re-tests of those samples had yielded 14 positive results from Russian athletes.

The ROC said it would not name the athletes until they had the results of their B-sample tests and following the start of official disciplinary proceedings. This is expected to be early next month.

The latest positive tests are a further blow to Russia, whose track and field athletes have been suspended since November, and its hopes of sending a full team to the Rio Olympics in August.

In a bid to improve their chances of returning to competition in time for the Games, Russia's athletics federation said on Tuesday it would not include any athletes on its Olympic team, who had been banned for doping in the past.

Russian media reported a list of athletes, including several Beijing medal winners, who had tested positive. The list could not be verified by Reuters.

It included high jumper Anna Chicherova who won a bronze medal in Beijing and went on to claim gold in London in 2012.

Her coach confirmed she was on the list earlier on Tuesday.

"Three days ago Anna received a notice that her doping sample from the Beijing Olympics tested positive after a re-check and she called me," Chicherova's coach Yevgeny Zagorulko told Russia's TASS news agency.   Continued...

The logo of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is seen outside its headquarters in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin