IAAF suspends seven Russian athletes for doping

IAAF suspends seven Russian athletes for doping Monte Carlo - The IAAF confirmed Thursday that it has provisionally suspended seven Russian athletes for tampering with doping samples.

"The athletes have been charged under IAAF Rules 32.2 (b) and 32.2 (e) for a fraudulent substitution of urine which is both a prohibited method and also a form of tampering with the doping control process," the governing body for track and field athletics said in a statement.

"These rule violations were established following the deliberate storage of samples by the IAAF and re-analysis using comparative DNA techniques, and were the result of a specific investigation which was instigated and carried out by the IAAF for more than a year."

The athletes suspended were Yelena Soboleva, who earlier this year set a world indoor record in the women's 1,500 metres, two-time world 1,500 champion Tatyana Tomashova, middle-distance runners Yulia Fomenko, Svetlana Cherkasova and Olga Yegorova, hammer thrower Gulfiya Khanafeyeva and discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova.

Five of the athletes were immediately removed from Russia's Olympic squad by the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).

Yegorova has had problems with doping tests before. In July 2001, an A-sample taken at a Golden League meeting returned positive for the blood booster Erythropoetin
(EPO) but she escaped a two-year ban on a technicality.

A month later, she won the gold medal in the 5,000m at the world championships in Edmonton.

Romanian athletes Elena Antoci and Cristina Vasiloiu are also under suspicion of doping with EPO after a first doping test returned positive, Octavian Morariu, president of the Romanian Olympic Committee, confirmed. (dpa)