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Russian athletes to be excluded from national team for failure to return medals

February 16, 13:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

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

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MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes, who failed to return medals as it was required earlier by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) based on their disqualifications, will not be listed in the national team, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) announced on Thursday.

"We are informing that if athletes and coaches, who are subjected to suspensions and provisional bans and failed to return Olympic medals, regalia and prize money to organizers of tournaments, will have no right of participating in athletic competitions of ARAF and will not be included in national pool lists as well as the national team," the ARAF said in its statement.

Alexandra Brilliantova, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) 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.

However, 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. Kokorin is the only Russian athlete at the moment to return his medal.

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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