IAAF imposes bans on eight Russian athletes for doping

IAAF imposes bans on eight Russian athletes for dopingMonte Carlo - The IAAF, the governing body of world athletics, has imposed two-year doping bans on eight Russian athletes for testing positive a varied of substances, including the banned blood-booster EPO.

It emerged Thursday that the athletes are mostly from the sport of walking and include Vladimir Kanaykin, the 20-kilometre walk world record holder, and Alexsey Voyevodin, 50km bronze medalist at the Athens Olympics in 2004, who both tested positive for EPO in an out- of-competition test in Saransk in April.

Another of the athletes is Sergey Morozov, who set an as yet unratified world record of 1 hour 16 minutes 43 seconds in the 20km at the Russian National Championships in Saransk in June, becoming the first man to break the 1:17 barrier. Kanaykin was second, also under 1:17, in 1:16:53.

Morozov, a previous World Cup and European Cup 10km champion, subsequently tested positive on July 20 while fellow walkers Igor Yerokhin, Anatoly Kukushkin, Igor Erokhin and Viktor Burayev also failed dope tests.

Steeplechaser Roman Usov and long-distance runner Yulia Smirnowa have also been banned.

Kukushkin tested positive for the designer drug carphedon at the national championships in Saransk on June 8 while Usov failed a dope test for the same drug on July 18 in Kasan. Smirnova tested positive for Strychnine in March.

Last month, seven Russian athletes were suspended for two years by the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) for tampering with doping samples.

The athletes named included Yelena Soboleva, who earlier this year set a world indoor record in the women's 1,500 metres and two-time world 1,500 champion Tatyana Tomashova.

The seven were provisionally suspended by the IAAF in July and five of the athletes were immediately removed from Russia's Beijing Olympic squad by the ARAF. (dpa)