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LONDON, September 9 (Itar-Tass) — Russian powerlifters Nikolai Marfin and Vadim Rakitin both tested positive for human growth hormone, a representative of Russia’s Paralympic Committee told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
The source said “the athletes said they had been taking the banned medicine on their own initiative, having learned information from the Internet, and having received the medicine on-line, without informing coaches, doctors or the sports federation.”
The athletes themselves claimed they had taken the medicine as a painkiller.
“Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin have been in for powerlifting for over twelve years, and due to the specifics of this kind of sports, they have gained certain problems with ligaments,” the source said. “During the past year, they addressed for medical assistance several times, but the treatment had not brought positive results and the athletes decided to solve the problem on their own.”
“It is clear now that they have been taking the banned medicine for several times without clear clinical effect and without improvement of sports results,” the source continued. “In the world rating they are below the 7th position. Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin repented of their inadequate deed. Nevertheless, the incident discredits the good name of Russian athletes and brings Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin outside the family of the Paralympic team. They both are disqualified.”
Russia’s Paralympic Committee apologised for the incident.