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Russian Olympic Champ in diving Zakharov slapped with 18-month suspension

According to the Russian Diving Federation, he has skipped out-of-competition doping tests on October 21, 2018, on February 17 and June 11, 2019
Ilya Zakharov  Yegor Aleyev/TASS
Ilya Zakharov
© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Russian Olympic champion in springboard diving Ilya Zakharov has been suspended for a period of 18 months over violations of anti-doping regulations, Alexei Vlasenko, the president of the Russian Diving Federation (RDF), told TASS on Tuesday.

According to Vlasenko, the Russian diver was suspended for a year and a half for skipping three out-of-competition doping tests within a year. His disqualification starts from November 22, 2019 and Zakharov has 21 days to file an appeal against his suspension with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The RDF president said that Zakharov has skipped out-of-competition doping tests on October 21, 2018, on February 17 and June 11, 2019. The diver missed the 2019 FINA World Championship, hosted by South Korea’s Gwangju on July 12-28, citing a knee injury.

Vlasenko added that the 28-year-old diver has no intentions of appealing the suspension, since he had plans to wrap up his sports career.

Zakharov confirmed on Monday his decision to retire from sports thanking all his fans and supporters.

"Today is the last day of my sports career," Zakharov wrote in his Instagram account. "I would like to thank all my dear fans and supporters, who have been following my career and sympathized with me, for their support throughout these years."

"I have never been and will never be consuming doping," he continued. "I have decided to finish my career and this is why I skipped doping testing. A new chapter of my life begins and I am preparing for it."

Zakharov is a multiple-time winner and medalist of the World and European Championships. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London he won gold in 3-meter Springboard and silver in 3-meter Springboard Synchro in pair with Yevgeny Kuznetsov.