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Russia Bans Four Athletes Doping

European 800m silver medallist Irina Maracheva has been banned for two years by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) for doping.
Race walker Anna Lukyanova has also been given a two-year ban, while there are four-year suspensions for runners Maria Nikolaeva and Yelena Nikulina.

The sanctions were the first handed down by the ROC since Russia was banned from athletics competition in November.
Further details about the bans have not been made public.
Lukyanova was a silver medallist at the 2010 World Junior Championships.

Russia is dealing with the fallout of a damaging report that made allegations of state-sponsored doping in the country.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which governs world athletics, provisionally suspended Russia from international competition in November.
Russia will only be reinstated if it fulfils strict criteria, including compliance with all World Anti-Doping Agency and IAAF anti-doping rules.

An IAAF inspection team is due to meet Russia’s new athletics chief, Dmitry Shlyakhtin, in Moscow on Monday.
Maracheva, 31, finished third behind Britain’s Lynsey Sharp at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki but was upgraded to silver when Russia’s Yelena Arzhakova was stripped of her gold medal for doping.
Scotland’s Sharp was awarded the gold.

According to the Russian news agency Tass, the decision to ban the four athletes was taken by the interim co-ordinating committee of the ROC based on the documents received from the IAAF.

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