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Russian sports minister regrets national team stripped of 2008 Olympic relay gold

August 17, 11:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko considers the move to publish the names of Russian athletes showin positive doping retset results now "a serious information attack"
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© EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Wednesday he regrets that Russia’s national track and field team has been stripped of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medal in the 4x100 meter relay race.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that the team was ordered to return its gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to a positive doping test of runner Yulia Chermoshanskaya.

"This is not the news. These are the retests from Beijing and London, there are the names of 98 athletes who failed their doping tests, including our athletes. I don’t understand why the names of Russian athletes are published exactly now during the Olympics. Of course, I can express only regrets," Mutko said.

"A serious information attack is underway," the minister stressed.

The decision, which took effect immediately, was made as a result of double-checking the 2008 Olympic Games doping tests. Chermoshanskaya’s sample tested positive for two banned substances - stanozolol and turinabol.

Yevgeniya Polyakova, Aleksandra Fedoriva and Yulia Gushchina took part in the relay race with Chermoshanskaya. From now on, Russia’s 4x100m relay race national team has been officially suspended.

Chermoshanskaya to challenge decision barring her from competition

Russia’s athletics chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin told TASS on Wednesday that Yulia Chermoshanskaya intended to challenge her disqualification in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

"Now the IAAF has barred her and she will apply to the CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport] on this issue. I have stopped being surprised at anything and I already have immunity to such things. I perceived calmly this information [the stripping of the gold medal]," the president of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) said.

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