Track and Field

Olympic gold medallists among 4 Russian track athletes charged with doping offences

Two Olympic gold medallists were among four Russian track and field athletes charged with doping offences.

2012 hurdles champ Natalya Antyukh, 2008 high jump champ Andrei Silnov charged

Russia's Natalya Antyukh, the 2012 champion in the 400-metre hurdles, is among four Russian track and field athletes charged with doping offences on Friday. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Two Olympic gold medallists were among four Russian track and field athletes charged with doping offences.

Andrei Silnov, the 2008 Olympic high jump champion, and Natalya Antyukh, the 2012 champion in the 400-metre hurdles, are facing charges of using a prohibited substance or method.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said the cases were based on an investigation into Russian doping for the World Anti-Doping Agency presented in 2016 by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

Silnov was the senior vice-president of the Russian track federation until last June, when he stepped down citing an investigation by the AIU into his conduct. The AIU said his case included suspicions of the presence of the banned DHCMT, also known as turinabol.

The other two athletes charged were Yelena Soboleva, who won a silver medal in the 1,500 at the 2006 world indoor championships, and retired hammer thrower Oksana Kondratyeva.

The AIU said Soboleva's case relates to a retested sample from the 2007 world championships.

Soboleva was previously stripped of a silver medal from that event for her role in an alleged scheme by track and field athletes to swap urine samples, a case which mirrored later allegations made against the Russian state related to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Hearing date not yet set

The charges are due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but no date for a hearing has yet been listed.

Russia has been suspended from international track competitions since 2015 for widespread doping, though some have been allowed to compete as neutral athletes.

Earlier this month, the Russian track federation admitted wrongdoing in a case where fake documents were allegedly provided to give an athlete an alibi for missing a doping test. The federation said responsibility lay with management figures who no longer work there.

On Friday, the AIU also said it had issued a two-year suspension for Bahraini distance runner Albert Rop, who was accused of repeatedly failing to provide accurate information about his whereabouts for doping tests.

The Kenya-born Rop won the silver medal in the 5,000 metres at the 2018 Asian Games.

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