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Russian boxers see doping bans doubled after report

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The doping suspensions of two Russian boxers have been doubled after Reuters reported that they had fought in official competitions during their bans, Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA said on Friday.

Reuters reported in July that boxers Islam Dashaev and Alena Tokarchuk had competed in elite tournaments despite their bans, which is forbidden under international anti-doping rules.

RUSADA said at the time that it had been unaware of the cases and pledged to investigate. A Russian boxing federation official who had overseen one of the competitions also said he had no knowledge that the boxer had been banned.      

Dashaev, who had received a four-year suspension in 2017 for doping violations that included refusing a doping test, has received another four-year suspension starting in March 2021, RUSADA said. 

Tokarchuk, suspended in November 2017 for two years for testing positive for a banned substance, will serve another two-year ban starting in November 2019, the agency said. 

Athletes banned for doping are forbidden from participating in any capacity in competitions or activities related to elite sport, according to the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

If an athlete is found to have violated a doping ban, the duration of the suspension can be doubled.  

These lapses in the enforcement of the boxers’ bans suggest that Russia, which says it has put its doping scandals behind it, has yet to create a culture in which all dopers are sidelined.

Russia’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is at risk after WADA found inconsistencies in Moscow’s laboratory data.

Reuters reported earlier this year that two Russian athletics coaches and one doctor banned for doping were still working with athletes.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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