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Russian track and field athletes were most tested for doping in Russia in 2019

National weightlifters formed the second most tested group in Russia last year as RUSADA’s doping officers checked on 236 of them, according to the report

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Russian track and fielders formed a group of the most tested athletes for banned performance enhancing drugs in 2019 compared to other sports, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) stated in a report provided to TASS on Friday.

The report states that last year, a total number of 804 national track and field athletes underwent doping testing.

National weightlifters formed the second most tested group in Russia last year as RUSADA’s doping officers checked on 236 of them, according to the report.

Most tested athlete

Russia’s two-time champion in 800m and 1,500m running Alexandra Gulyayeva was the most tested athlete for doping in the country based on the results of doping tests, carried out last year, RUSADA stated in a report provided to TASS on Friday.

According to RUSADA, the 25-year-old runner underwent 12 doping test procedures in the period between January and December including.

Gulyayeva missed the 2019 World Championships, hosted by Qatar’s Doha on September 27-October 6, after World Athletics (formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF) declined to grant her the so-called neutral status.

The neutral status is required for Russian track and field athletes to participate in international tournaments since the membership of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) with World Athletics is currently suspended.

RUSADA inspectors also collected doping samples of 186 swimmers, 171 cross-country skiers and 144 biathletes in 2019.

World Athletics suspended RusAF’s membership in late 2015 following a chain of doping abuse scandals in Russia’s track and field sports. Only one Russian track and field athlete was allowed to participate in 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and she was Russia’s long jumper Daria Klishina.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to stall RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

According to World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 "with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity."

The suspension of Russia’s governing athletics body has been ruled to remain in force 12 times since its introduction in 2015 with the most recent decision made on September 23, before the start of the 2019 World Championships in Qatar’s Doha on September 27-October 6.

World Athletics allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.