IOC medical chief suspects systematic doping by Russian women

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BEIJING — The leader of the IOC's medical commission said seven Russian female track and field athletes, accused of tampering with their urine samples, appeared to be involved in a case of "systematic doping."

Seven Russian women were provisionally suspended last week by the International Association of Athletics Federations. They included Yelena Soboleva, a world record-holder and world champion middle-distance runner who was favored to win the 800 and 1,500 meters at the Beijing Olympics.

"I think it is just frustrating to find that such type of cheating — planned cheating — is still going on," Arne Ljungqvist said Tuesday, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission. "That's very disappointing to find."

Ljungqvist called on the Russian track and field federation to investigate the case.

"The DNA analysis are 100 percent," Ljungqvist said. "So if the urine does not belong to the athlete ... then they certainly have a case to answer. It's a sad story."

— AP

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