MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes must return a total of 23 Olympic medals following a series of retests of their doping samples collected at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games, the All-Russia Athletics Federation announced on Thursday.
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.
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 ARAF lauds Anton Kokorin’s move and calls on other athletes, who are obliged to return the medals and relevant regalia to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to follow his example," the ARAF said in its statement.
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 retesting, 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 a total of 19 medals from Russian athletes, who took part in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Athletes, who won medals in relays or other team competitions, were also obliged to give up their medals in case a doping sample retest of their teammates tested positive for banned substances.