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Four Russian titled race walkers enter national Olympics roster after doping bans expired

April 11, 2016, 14:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian athletes at the issue are Olga Kaniskina, Sergey Kirdyapkin, Sergey Bakulin and Elena Lashmanova

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Olga Kaniskina

Olga Kaniskina

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Four Russia’s titled race walkers, whose suspension terms over doping violations had expired, were included in the roster of the national team for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) told TASS on Monday.

The Russian athletes at the issue are Olga Kaniskina, Sergey Kirdyapkin, Sergey Bakulin and Elena Lashmanova.

Last month the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne upheld an appeal from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) against six Russian athletes and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). Among the athletes were Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin and Bakulin, who were stripped of all their medals and titles won between 2009 and 2012.

In March 2015 the IAAF announced its disagreement with RUSADA’s decision to suspend a group of Russian athletes for doping-related violations selectively annulling results of the field and trackers at the issue.

The IAAF insisted that all results of the banned athletes must be annulled beginning from the start of their suspensions and filed an appeal with the CAS against RUSADA’s decision.

RUSADA announced on January 20, 2015 that Kirdyapkin, Kaniskina and Bakulin 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. However, their medals and titles won starting from the suspension period were not annulled.

Following the ruling of CAS on March 24 this year, the 2012 Olympic gold in men’s 50 km walk, won by Kirdyapkin and the 2012 Olympic silver in women’s 20 km walk, won by Kaniskina were annulled. Race walker Sergey Bakulin was stripped off of his gold medal of the 2011 IAAF World Championship.

Lashmanova, the 2012 London Olympics gold medalist in women’s 20 km walk and 2013 World Champion, was handed a two-year suspension after her blood test on January 4, 2014 proved positive for taking substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The doping suspension of the 24-year-old Russian race walker expired on February 25, 2016.

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