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Russian athletes return Olympic medals following doping retests

February 14, 16:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The International Olympic Committee declined to name Russian athletes who returned the medals
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© AP Photo/Greg

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. A number of Russian athletes have already returned their medals as it was required earlier by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after retests of their doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games tested positive for banned performance enhancing drugs, the IOC press service told TASS on Tuesday.

"We have already received back a number of medals and are in contact with the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) on this matter," the IOC said in its statement to TASS.

However, the world’s governing Olympic body declined to name Russian athletes, who returned the medals, saying that "the IOC will not comment on individual cases."

Alexandra Brilliantova, the head of the ROC’s Legal Department, told TASS late last month that none of the Russian 2008 and 2012 Olympians, who were disqualified by the IOC after two rounds of doping re-tests, returned their medals as it was required by the Olympic Charter.

It emerged on Monday that Russian track and field athlete Anton Kokorin returned to the IOC his bronze medal, which he won at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in 4x400 meters relay. He was obliged to return the medal after his teammate Denis Alekseyev’s doping sample tested positive for doping after the reanalysis.

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 23 medalists from both Olympics. On the whole, a total of 1,243 doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Games were subjected for retesting.

In particular, the IOC ruled after the series of doping retests to annul the medals of 13 Russian athletes from the 2008 Games and at least of five Russian athletes from 2012 Games.

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