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MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russian Olympic medalist Tatiana Chernova, suspended earlier on doping abuse charges, will return to sports this summer after her suspension term expires, Marina Raskova, the head of the Krasnodar Territory’s sports training center, told TASS on Wednesday.
On January 30, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) issued a two-year suspension for Chernova, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2011 world champion. The suspension term was announced in effect starting from July 22, 2013.
"Tatiana is currently practicing in Krasnodar and prepares for her return this summer," Raskova said.
If the 27-year-old athlete return after the suspension term expired she would be able to take part in the Russian Athletics Championship due on August 3-8 in the Urals city of Cheboksary. Chernova also has chances to take part in the IAAF World Championships in China’s Beijing on August 22-30, if her candidacy approved by the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).
The ARAF was recently hit by a series of high-profile doping scandals. Besides Chernova, RUSADA also announced on January 30 the doping-related suspension for runner Yulia Zaripova.
Zaripova, a 2011 world athletics champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was disqualified for two years and six months from July 25, 2013.
Earlier in January RUSADA announced 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 Championship silver medalist Vladimir Kanaikin were suspended after they were found guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.
Their suspensions were based on irregularities in their biological passports, which were indicators to abuse of performance enhancing drugs.
Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin and Bakulin were each handed by RUSADA 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 Walk. Kaniskina is also a silver medalist of the 2012 Olympics in London in women’s 20 km Walk. Kirdyapkin won the Olympic gold in men’s 50 km Walk 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 walk at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea’s Daegu.
In the wake of high-profile doping scandals, former ARAF president Valentin Balakhnichev, who had been heading the federation for over 20 years and was reelected for another four-year term in 2012, announced his resignation on Tuesday. He handed over his powers to run the ARAF to First Vice President Vadim Zelichenok.
"By delegating the rights to manage the organization to my companion I can say that I am handing over the organization in a normal condition without any debts of problems," Balakhnichev said. "We have only one problem, and it is the problem of doping. I hope I will still be of use for athletics. There was also part of my guilt as well and everything that happened.".