Hammer thrower gets life ban
Moscow: Russian hammer thrower Kirill Ikonnikov has been suspended for life from all sports-related activities for violating anti-doping regulations, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.
“We have registered two positive doping tests over six months,” Mutko told journalists. “One girl injected something into her nose, but her situation is likely to be resolved. Ikonnikov, meanwhile, has been banned for life,” reports Tass.
Hammer-thrower Ikonnikov finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics in London. However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) later requested to collect a doping sample from the Russian athlete.
The doping sample tested positive for banned steroid substance Oral Turinabol and Ikonnikov was handed a two-year suspension starting from November 2, 2012.
In line with the regulations, in case an athlete is caught taking performance enhancing drugs for the second time, then he or she is subject for a life suspension from all sports-related activities.
According to the minister, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating all doping-related cases involving national athletes and criminal probes are likely to be launched eventually.
“We are under some sort of a media attack,” Mutko said. “However, the Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating all facts and I believe it is possible that criminal probes are to follow.”
Starting this year doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD). Russian sports has lately been in the centre of doping-related scandals.
The Kremlin will consider doping abuse accusations against Russian athletes as a slander until it gets proofs of confirmation, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
“The team is systematically getting ready for the Olympic games. True, campaigns of slander do take place, but they don’t fan tensions,” Peskov said, when asked if another round of allegations about doping abuse increased the risks for Russian athletes, reports Tass. Peskov pointed out that Russia was categorically against the use of doping in sports.
“At the same time, this does not mean that we are ready to accept some groundless statements or charges before we hear any sensible proof or confirmations of this slander,” Peskov said. “We will be regarding this as the absolute calumny.”
He recalled, “The Russian president had sent an absolutely clear message to the effect the use of any doping in sports is absolutely unacceptable for us. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko stated that too. Russia is categorically against this and it unconditionally condemns the use of doping where it has been proven.”
At the same time, “we are categorically against the attempts to use the exposed cases of doping abuse to cast a shadow on our athletes who participate in sports competitions in a fair way,” Peskov said.
He also pointed out that “the president and the sports minister had repeatedly stated they were participating in anti-doping activities on the basis of very tight interaction with the corresponding international structures”.
Peskov emphasised Putin’s statement favouring every cooperation with foreign partners in anti-doping agencies to investigate all doping abuse suspicions.