News 8th January 2018

Banned Russians win at European Speed Skating Championships

Two Russian speed skaters subject to a life ban from the Olympics for doping helped Russia take gold in the women’s team pursuit and silver in the men’s team pursuit at the European Speed Skating Championships in Kolomna, Russia, 5-7 January. Olga Fatkulina helped Russia take gold in the women’s team pursuit, and Aleksander Rumantsev helped Russia take silver in the men’s team pursuit. Both have filed appeals against bans issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In December, the International Skating Union (ISU) said it was awaiting reasoned decisions from the IOC regarding Fatkulina and Rumantsev before sanctioning the two Russians. The Russian men’s and women’s pursuit teams therefore face the theoretical possibility that they could be disqualified from the European Speed Skating Championships at a later date.

Russian Alexander Lakernik is the 2nd Vice President of the ISU. As well as confirming that the European Speed Skating Championships in Kolomna would go ahead, the ISU has confirmed that the European Figure Skating Championships will go ahead in Moscow from 15-21 January, as planned.

The China Skating Association (CSA) has expelled Xiaoxuan Shi from its national team for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, after the speed skater testing positive for clenbuterol. The CSA said that Shi had violated national training camp disciplinary regulations through ‘unauthorised dining out’ on 13 December during a Changchun training camp, read a media statement posted to China’s General Administration of Sport. Shi tested positive on 14 December.

Clenbuterol is still used in animal feed despite being banned in the US since 1991 and by the European Union since 1996 – it has a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set by the same body. In 2011, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sent a warning to athletes that food in Mexico and China could be contaminated with the substance.

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