13 October 2016 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued decisions in the cases of Russian racewalkers Elmira Alembekova, Ivan Noskov, Mikhail Ryzhov, Vera Sokolova and Denis Strelkov who all tested positive for EPO at the Saransk race walking centre on 2 June 2015.
All five athletes have been found to have committed an Anti-doping Rule Violation (ADRV) pursuant to Rules 32.1 and 32.2 of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) Competition Rules and sanctioned as follows:
- Ivan Noskov, Mihail Ryzhov, Vera Sokolova and Denis Strelkov are all sanctioned with a fouryear period of ineligibility, starting on 15 July 2016. Furthermore, all competitive results obtained by them in the period 2 June 2015 to 15 July 2015 are disqualified, with all the resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points, prize and appearance money.
- Elmira Alembekova is sanctioned with a four-year period of ineligibility, starting on 17 July 2016. Furthermore, all competitive results obtained by Elmira Alembekova in the period 2 June 2015 to 17 July 2015 are disqualified, with all the resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points, prize and appearance money.
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.
These five cases were referred to the same panel of arbitrators: Prof. Matthew J. Mitten (USA), President, Professor Ulrich Haas (Germany) and Mr. Chi Liu (China).
The Panel found that the athletes had each committed an ADRV 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.