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Russian Sprinter Banned For Doping

Russian sprinter Yulia Chermoshanskaya, who won 4x100-meter relay gold in 2008, has received a doping ban of two years.

The International Association of Athletics Federations announced the Russian track and field athlete tested positive for Stanozolol and Turinabol. The former Olympic gold medalist is among a trio of Russians who have admitted doping offences. Chermoshanskaya was a member of the victorious 4x100 meters relay quartet of Russia at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The Russian sprinter, who also finished eighth in the women's 200m final, also saw result from the event being declared void.

Chermoshanskaya had earlier abandoned plans to appeal her case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The 31-year-old sprinter admitted her guilt alongside shot putters Soslan Tsirikhov and Anna Omarova, both of whom were banned for two years in March.

Russian teammates Yulia Gushchina, Alexandra Fedoriva and Evgeniya Polyakova were also all stripped of gold. The disqualification of Chermoshanskaya meant Olivia Borlée, Hanna Mariën, Élodie Ouédraogo and Kim Gevaert of Belgium were upgraded to gold from Beijing. The Belgian team received their medals in front of a home crowd at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 9. Nigeria was moved up to silver with Brazil taking bronze.

Ukraine’s Vita Palamar and Marharyta Tverdohlib were also given doping bans of two years.

The world governing body of track and field also announced a sanction of eight years for Natalia Lupu, who was the 800-meter European indoor champion in 2013. This was her second doping offense. She was previously banned until January 2015 following the return of a positive test at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot. The Ukrainian middle-distance runner – who won European indoor 800m gold in Gothenburg in 2013 - returned an adverse analytical finding to the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine on March 7, 2014.

     Ukraine's athletics federation announced Lupu would not compete at the 2016 indoor world championships for also using Meldonium. In a statement, the federations said the World Anti-Doping Agency had some questions related to the use of Meldonium for Natalya Lupu and it was decided to cancel Natalya Lupu's trip to the Portland world championships.

Meldonium, available as an over-the-counter medication in many parts of Eastern Europe but not approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, is manufactured in Latvia and prescribed to treat heart disease.

In another development, the IAAF rejected bids from 28 Russians to compete as neutral athletes while only approving three. In a statement, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said he is grateful to the members of the Doping Review Board for the dedication and diligence they are giving to this on-going review process. Coe added the importance of this huge task should not be underestimated and also commented that there can be no time constraints or deadlines when the protection of clean athletes everywhere is at stake. Those already approved include high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene and doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova. The IAAF said another 27 cases remain under review with decisions expected soon.a

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Albert Wolfgang
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