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MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Questioning the authenticity of Russian athletes’ doping tests at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, including those of the winner in the 4X100 meters relay Yulia Chermoshanskaya, makes no sense, the former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation Valentin Balakhnichev claims. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Chermoshanskaya did use a prohibited substance, Balakhnichev admitted to TASS.
The International Olympic Committee on August 17 said that the Russian team had been stripped of its gold medal in the women’s 4X100 meters relay race at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing because runner Yulia Chermoshanskaya’s doping test turned out to be positive. The decision went into effect immediately following the retesting of doping samples from the 2008 Olympics.
"Suspicions had existed for quite a while and checks began months ago. Reports to that effect reached me several times. And I do not think that the authenticity of those tests can be questioned. I have no suspicion on that score. According to WADA and the IAAF Chermoshanskaya did take a prohibited substance," Balakhnichev said.
"Doping tests and analysis are an objective reality. They are very hard to dispute. Saying that she was ‘clean’ at that time, at that moment and to defend her on that basis would be pointless. We all agreed and accepted that decision, and have to reconcile with it. Protests will get us nowhere," he believes.
The three other athletes that participated in the relay race are Yevgeniya Polyakova, Aleksandra Fedoriva and Yulia Gushchina. Belgium was second, Nigeria third, and Brazil, fourth. At the 2008 Olympics Russia placed second in the unofficial team standing with 23 golds (including women’s 4X100 meters relay). In all Russia won 73 medals, including 21 silvers and 29 bronzes.