Doping: London high jump champion Ukhov among 12 Russians banned
LONDON (Reuters) – London 2012 Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov is among 12 Russian track and field athletes to be handed doping bans by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) acting for the IAAF in the absence of the banned Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF).
Ukhov and Svetlana Shkolina, who won high jump bronze in 2012 and gold at the 2013 world championships, were given four-year bans on Friday, starting from Feb. 1 2019, and retrospectively disqualified, meaning they will be stripped of their medals.
American Erik Kynard is expected to be promoted to gold in the 2012 Olympic men’s event while compatriot Brigetta Barrett, who took silver in London, is in line to be promoted to world champion after finishing second in Moscow.
Double world champion and former world record holder hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko, who had previously been stripped of her 2012 Olympic gold, was given an eight-year ban for a second offence, as was fellow hammer thrower Gulfiya Agafonova.
CAS said the 12 athletes “participated in and/or benefited from anabolic steroid doping programs and benefited from specific protective methods”.
The decisions were the first case of CAS issuing disciplinary procedures since it replaced the RUSAF in hearing cases after its suspension by the IAAF which remains in force.
The cases are based mainly on evidence gathered in an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report carried out by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren and the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which was set up in 2017 to act independently from the IAAF.
“Today’s CAS rulings confirm that the evidence underlying the McLaren Reports is reliable and is capable of establishing Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs),” AIU head Brett Clothier said in a statement that also said CAS’s decision established that the violations were committed as part of a centralised doping scheme.
“It needs to be noted that some of these cases were fought solely on the basis of the McLaren evidence, while others were combined with analytical evidence gathered through re-testing. It is very encouraging for us and gives us the possibility to pursue more cases in the future.”
Friday’s bans are the latest in a long line handed down to Russians across a range of sports since widespread and organised doping was uncovered.
Russian authorities have denied that it was “state-sponsored” but have accepted that many senior officials were involved either in providing the illegal products or interfering with anti-doping procedures and covering up positive tests.
WADA last month finally gained access to data held in a Moscow laboratory, the last condition for making Russia’s anti-doping agency compliant, that is expected to produce more retrospective positive tests.
“The data is crucial to build strong cases against cheats and exonerate other athletes suspected of having participated in widespread doping in Russia,” Clothier said.