June 21, 2017 / 2:38 PM / 5 months ago

Three Russian runners banned for 4 years after Beijing retests

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Three Russian runners whose samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics tested positive for a banned steroid have been handed four-year suspensions after retests, Russia’s athletics federation said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Inga Abitova of Russia celebrates after winning the silver medal in the women's 10,000 metres final at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

Long-distance runner Inga Abitova and 400-metre specialists Anastasia Kapachinskaya and Denis Alekseyev had already been disqualified by the International Olympic Committee last year after their samples from Beijing were found to contain banned substances, including the steroid turinabol.

Alekseyev won bronze in Beijing as part of the Russian men’s 4x400-metre relay team, but the IOC ordered that he and his teammates be stripped of their medals.

His results between August 2008 and June 2013 are annulled, the Russian athletics federation said in a statement.

FILE PHOTO: Anastasia Kapachinskaya of Russia reacts after winning the 200 metres event of the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Budapest on March 7, 2004. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh/ File Photo

Kapachinskaya and her 4x400-metre relay teammates were also stripped of their silver medals from Beijing. Her results starting from August 2008 are annulled, the federation said.  

The suspensions handed to Abitova and Alekseyev will end next year because they include two-year bans they had previously served for doping offences, the federation said.

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russian track and field athletes from international competition in 2015 over a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) alleging rampant state-sponsored doping in the sport.

Russia’s track and field team, with the exception of one athlete based in the United States, was banned from the Rio Olympics last summer. The majority of Russian athletes are also set to miss the world championships in London in August.

In recent months the IAAF has cleared a total of 15 Russian athletes, including 2015 world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, for having demonstrated that they are training in an environment that meets its anti-doping requirements.

Reporting by Moscow newsroom; Editing by Gareth Jones

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