Fri, 20 Sep 2019

Paris - Seven more Russian weightlifters, including two who have already been stripped of Olympic medals, were charged with doping offences on Friday, bringing the total from the country to 12 this week, officials said.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said the seven were Dimitriy Lapikov, Chingiz Mogushkov, Adam Maligov, Magomed Abuev and Maksim Sheyko as well as female lifters Nadezda Evstyukhina and Yuliya Konovalova.

Lapikov and Evstyukhina have previously served doping bans and been stripped of their 2008 Olympic Games bronze medals.

All have been provisionally suspended as the fall-out from the explosive McLaren report into state-backed doping in Russia continues.

On Tuesday, five Russian lifters, including a 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, were also provisionally suspended after tests on samples recovered from Moscow's anti-doping laboratory.

Ruslan Albegov, who took a London Games bronze in the +105 kilo category and won back-to-back world titles in the next two years, was suspended along with women's -63 kilo 2013 world champion Tima Turieva.

Also provisionally banned were David Bedzhanyan, Oleg Chen and Egor Klimanov.

The suspensions come after the analysis of samples from the Moscow lab.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said in April it had retrieved 2 262 samples from Moscow's former drug-testing laboratory.

Last month, WADA said that some 300 Russian athletes suspected of doping had been identified and added that the data of 43 had been sent to the relevant federations.

To date, only two federations - the International Biathlon Federation and the IWF - have suspended athletes on the basis of that data.

The IWF said Friday that the athletes had been suspended "on the evidence arising from the investigations conducted by Prof. McLaren and the WADA Intelligence & Investigations department into the Russian doping scheme."

In a statement on Tuesday, IWF President Tamas Ajan said: "The IWF regrets these additional cases of doping in our sport from some years ago. We note without any satisfaction that weightlifting was far from the only sport to have been affected by the extensive and historical Russian doping revealed by whistleblowers, the media and WADA."

But he stressed the IWF was determined "to protect clean sport" and had not shown "any hesitation in taking the right decisions."

After the International Olympic Committee placed weightlifting under surveillance in March following a slew of doping cases, the IWF stepped up its anti-doping efforts, the federation received the green light for participation in the 2024 Paris Games.

Even so, WADA said in July that unless the federations took action on data showing up doping infringements it would reserve the right to take matters to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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