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MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) should decide whether to rescind Olympic medals from a group of Russian athletes, banned on Tuesday over doping abuse, the press service of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced on Tuesday that Olympic champions in race walk Valery Borchin, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina as well as Russia’s 2011 World Champion Sergey Bakulin and 2011 World Vice Champion Vladimir Kanaikin were disqualified after they were found guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.
Following the announcement RUSADA Director General Ramil Khabriyev said the IOC and the IAAF would be making a decision on whether to rescind Olympic medals from the disqualified Russian race walkers.
The IOC press service, however, told TASS on Wednesday that the issue of annulling Olympic medals from the banned athletes was solely in the competence of the IAAF.
Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin and Bakulin were each handed suspension terms of three years and two months, while Borchin was disqualified for the term of eight years. Kanaikin was disqualified for life. The suspension terms come into force as of October 15, 2012 meaning that Borchin will be ineligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
Borchin and Kaniskina are 2008 Beijing Olympics champions in 20 km race walking. Kaniskina is also a silver medalist of the 2012 Olympics in London in women’s 20 km race walking. Kirdyapkin won the Olympic gold in men’s 50 km race walking at the 2012 Summer Games in London. This is a second suspension penalty for Borchin, 28, as he was already subjected to a one-year disqualification in 2005 also on doping abuse charges.
Race walker Bakulin won his world champion’s title in men’s 50 km race walking at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea’s Daegu.
Following the suspensions, Kirdyapkin will be deprived of his 2009 World Championship’s gold medal in men’s 50 km race walking. Kaniskina and Borchin will be deprived of their 2009 and 2011 World Championships’ gold medals. Bakulin and Kanaikin will lose their gold and silver medals respectively won at the 2011 World Championship.
Commenting on the doping scandal with titled Russian athletes Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko blasted the work of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) saying the federation must resort to proper measures.
ARAF President Valentin Balakhnichev said the federation fully acknowledged serious mistakes it had made and pledged “to hold the necessary structural changes.”