Elmira Alembekova, Mikhail Ryzhov, Ivan Noskov, Denis Strelkov and Vera Sokolova tested positive for EPO in June 2015
Five Russian race walkers have each been banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Elmira Alembekova, Mikhail Ryzhov, Ivan Noskov, Denis Strelkov and Vera Sokolova all tested positive for the banned substance EPO at the Saransk race walking centre in Russia on June 2, 2015.
Alembekova (pictured), who won European 20km race walk gold in 2014, is banned for four years from July 17, 2016, with her results from June 2, 2015, to July 17, 2015, to be annulled.
The 2013 world 50km race walk silver medallist Ryzhov, 2014 European 50km race walk bronze medallist Noskov, 2014 European 20km race walk bronze medallist Strelkov and 2010 European 20km race walk bronze medallist Sokolova each have a four-year period of ineligibility from July 15, 2016, with their results from June 2, 2015, to July 15, 2015, disqualified.
“In February 2016, the IAAF, with the agreement of the athletes, referred the cases to the CAS in order for it to act as a sole instance, decision-making authority, substituting for the All Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), which is currently suspended,” read a CAS statement in part.
“The panel found that the athletes had each committed an ADRV (Anti-doping Rule Violation) and that a four-year period of ineligibility was appropriate in the circumstances, given that it was a first offence and that the athletes did not establish that the anti-doping rule violations were not intentional, nor even adduced any evidence or explanation regarding the origin of the r-EPO in their urine samples or their usage of this prohibited substance, which meant that there was no basis to either eliminate or reduce the period of ineligibility.”
Viktor Chegin, the former head coach of the Saransk race walking centre, was banned for life earlier this year.