Six Russian athletes banned for doping


Moscow (AFP)

Russia's doping crisis continued on Wednesday as the Russian athletics federation (RusAF) banned six athletes for failing tests.

A RusAF statement listed those banned, including former European championship 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Lyubov Kharlamova, who has been suspended for two years.

Russia saw its ban from international track and field competition upheld on Monday, after the IAAF ruled that it had not made sufficient progress in its anti-doping fight to merit reinstatement.

Russia was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year of widespread state-sponsored doping. Its athletics team was barred from last summer's Rio Olympics and will also miss the IAAF World Championships that get under way in London on Friday.

Nineteen Russian athletes, however, have been granted permission by the IAAF to compete as neutrals after meeting the exceptional eligibility criteria, essentially demonstrating that they've come through transparent anti-doping testing.

Of the other athletes banned on Wednesday, triple jumper Viktoria Gurova was handed a two-year ban for failing a retest of a sample from the 2012 Olympics in London, where she had originally finished eighth.

Race walker Zilya Garipova and long-distance runner Yulia Smirnova were given one-year and four-year suspensions respectively for testing positive for the same substance.

The 400m hurdler Ivan Khudyakov and middle-distance runner Yekaterina Doseikina were both given four-year bans.

Khudyakov was caught taking meldonium, the same drug that saw Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova banned for 15 months last year.