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Russian ski jumper Kustova slapped with suspension over anti-doping rules violation

She was suspended for her failure to provide the required information about her whereabouts and the 18-month disqualification begins from November 27, 2019
Alexandra Kustova Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Alexandra Kustova
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The Federation of Ski-Jumping and Nordic Combined of Russia (FSJNCR) has suspended for 18 months ski jumper Alexandra Kustova for violating anti-doping regulations, the press service of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) reported on Monday.

The 21-year-old athlete was suspended for her failure to provide the required information about her whereabouts, which resulted in three missed out-of-competition doping tests within a 12-month period. Her 18-month disqualification begins from November 27, 2019.

Kustova is the bronze medalist of the 2015 Russian Ski Jump Championship. She is also a silver medalist in Ladies' junior team normal hill event of the 2015 Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Kazakhstan.

Reached by a TASS correspondent to comment on the situation, Dmitry Dubrovsky, the president of the Russian Ski-Jumping and Nordic Combined Federation, said Kustova is not wrapping up her sports career because of the current suspension and plans to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

"Alexandra is trying to maintain her physical shape," Dubrovsky said. "She is not done with the sport and still has perspectives of competing at the [2022] Olympics in China."

Dubrovsky also said that the federation was aware since the very beginning that Kustova had almost no chances of avoiding punishment for her systematic absence from out-of-competition doping testing.

"Already in August [2019], when it all happened, we realized that there were almost zero chances of leniency in this case considering developments in the global anti-doping sphere," the federation’s president continued. "We knew back then that Alexandra’s carelessness, to put it mildly, would cost her dearly."

"Her suspension will expire in the spring of 2021, but she will miss the upcoming World Championship in Oberstdorf," he said.

"We are certainly disappointed," Dubrovsky continued. "Alexandra punished herself with her own lack of discipline and carelessness. "It once again demonstrates how serious are the requirements for athletes stipulated by the ADAMS [Anti-Doping Administration & Management System], which obliges them to provide information about the whereabouts. This will serve as a lesson for other athletes as well."

Dubrovsky also that the Russian Ski-Jumping and Nordic Combined Federation bears the responsibility for this case as well, adding that "These issue are currently under an extremely tight control.".