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Russian runner Shubenkov cleared of doping abuse charges

After a thorough investigation, the Athletics Integrity Unit accepted that the positive finding resulted from his unintentional ingestion of residue from medication being used to treat a family member

MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Russia’s 2015 World Champion in 110-meter hurdles running Sergey Shubenkov has been acquitted of charges of violating anti-doping regulations, the press office of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"In an operative decision issued on Monday, the Disciplinary Tribunal found that Sergey Shubenkov of Russia bore No Fault or Negligence for an AntiDoping rule violation resulting from an out-of-competition sample collected by the Athletics Integrity Unit on 15 December 2020 - and therefore would serve no period of ineligibility," the statement reads.

Shubenkov announced in late January that he received a letter from the AIU but decided against disclosing the details of the letter citing legal concerns. His case was considered on June 21 by the AIU Disciplinary Tribunal, which found the Russian athlete to have no fault for anti-doping rule violation.

"The sample was found to contain a low concentration of the specified substance known as acetazolamide (a diuretic)," the statement from the AIU continued.

"After a thorough investigation of the athlete's explanation during results management process, the AIU accepted that the positive finding resulted from his unintentional ingestion of residue from medication being used to treat a family member," according to the statement.

"The AIU charge was referred to a three-person panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal, which found that it was a 'genuinely exceptional' case, accepted the Athlete's plea of No Fault or Negligence and rejected the AIU's request that a period of ineligibility be imposed. Accordingly, no sanction has been imposed," the statement added.

Future plans

Besides winning the 2015 World Athletics Championship in men’s 110-meter hurdles, the 30-year-old Russian runner is also a silver medal winner of the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, and the winner of the 2012 and 2014 European Championships, in addition to his silver of the 2018 European Championship. Shubenkov also packs the gold of the 2013 European Indoor Championship in men’s 60-meter hurdles discipline.

On May 5, the Russian athlete submitted an application with the world’s governing body of track and field athletics, World Athletics, for the so-called neutral-status permission in order to compete at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Japan.

On March 18, the World Athletics Council announced a decision to reinstate "the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) program for clean athletes from Russia". On March 31, the World Athletics Council published a list of guidelines on granting the ANA status to Russian track and field athletes this year.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan’s capital of Tokyo will be held this year between July 23 and August 8. In March 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan for one year due to the spread of COVID-19.