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Russian sports chief suggests doping samples retests of all 2008, 2012 Olympic medalists

January 26, 16:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

His statement comes in the wake of the IOC's decision to strip Russian long jumper Tatiana Lebedeva of two medals

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MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Doping samples of all 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games medalists should be subjected to retests without any exceptions, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Thursday.

His statement comes in the wake of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision on Wednesday to strip Russian long jumper Tatiana Lebedeva of two medals she won at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

"If some of the doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics were sent for reanalysis, it would make more sense to submit for retests samples of all medals winners from both Games to probably increase the level of transparency," Kolobkov said.

The IOC announced on Wednesday its decision to strip Lebedeva of two Olympic medals after the reanalysis of her doping samples from the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing tested positive for banned substance turinabol. The Russian athlete was a silver medal winner in long jump and also the silver medalist in triple jump at the 2008 Games in China.

"To be honest, I am very disappointed," Kolobkov said. "Lebedeva is an outstanding athlete. However, it is indeed very bad if violations did take place. If there are now any chances of proving her innocence, they must be used at once."

Lebedeva, who is the 2004 Olympics champion in long jump, the 2000 Games bronze medal winner in triple jump and the record holder of indoor triple jump (15.36 meters), was also member of the European Athletics Association’s Athletes Commission.

The IOC Executive Board convened a special session last year on May 17 discussing efforts of stepping up the fight against the drugs cheats and furnish measures to protect clean athletes ahead of the Olympics in Rio. As part of its anti-doping efforts, IOC ordered reanalysis of doping samples of athletes from 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2012 Olympics in London.

Following two rounds of re-testing, 98 Olympians were reported to test positive for banned substances - 60 from the 2008 Games and 38 from the 2012 Games. Among them were over 25 medalists from both Olympics.

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