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Six Russian Athletes Stand to Lose Medals Because of Doping

  • VOA News

Russian athlete Sergei Kirdyapkin, seen in this file photo when he won the gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer race walk at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, would be stripped off his medal according to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Russian athlete Sergei Kirdyapkin, seen in this file photo when he won the gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer race walk at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, would be stripped off his medal according to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Six Russian athletes stand to lose their Olympic and championship medals after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled Thursday that the selective doping punishments imposed against them by the Russian athletics federation were too lenient.

The Switzerland-based court, CAS, upheld all six appeals by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) claiming that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had taken timed measures that meant that the athletes would keep major titles and their results would not be annulled.

In its appeal IAAF argued that the timing of the bans was “selective” after RUSADA had argued that its suspensions, ranging from two years to life, applied only to times when the athletes' blood values were extreme.

CAC's decision means that Russia's Sergei Kirdyapkin would be stripped off his 2012 Olympic gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer walk. In that case, Australia's Jared Tallent would move up to gold, China's Si Tianfeng to silver and the bronze medal will go to Ireland's Rob Heffernan. The changes are subject to IAAF and International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmation.

Tallent reacted to the court decision, saying that he was shocked hearing about the allegations and disappointed that IAAF did not ban Kirdyapkin as early as 2011.

"The allegations are absolutely shocking to find out the man who beat me in London, Sergey Kirdyapkin, probably should have been banned as early as 2011 but the IAAF held off from banning him until after the Olympic Games in London," he said. "So, effectively letting him race even though they knew he was a dope cheat and then he went on and beat me for the gold medal. So, it's pretty devastating. It makes you very angry just to know that your international federation, the sporting body that should be protecting clean athletes, was looking after the dope cheats. So, It's pretty hard to swallow, yeah, really disappointing to read that."

As a result of the CAS ruling, Russia will also lose an Olympic silver medal and two world championship gold medals.

Other cases in question include London 2012 3,000 meters steeplechase champion Yuliya Zaripova, Olympic champions Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina, 2011 world champion Sergei Bakulin and world silver medalist Vladimir Kanaykin.

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