Olympics: Two gold medalists among four Russian athletes charged with doping offenses

Four Russian athletes have been charged with doping offenses, according to the Associated Press. Among those charged are two former Olympic gold medalists in Andrei Silnov and Natalya Antyukh. Both are facing charges of using a prohibited substance or method. Silnov won a gold medal in the high jump at the 2008 Olympics. Meanwhile, Antyukh won a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in the 2012 Olympics.

The two other athletes charged in the doping scandal, Yelena Soboleva and Oksana Kondratyeva, also have track and field connections. Soboleva won a silver medal in the 1,500-meter relay at the 2006 world indoor championships while Kondratyeva is a retired hammer thrower that won a silver medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Russia. Soboleva was stripped of a different silver medal in that same event before 2006 for her alleged involvement in a urine sample swap scheme that athletes used in hopes to avoid testing positive for PEDs.

The Athletics Integrity Unit revealed that the cases were based off of an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The evidence was presented by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren in 2016.

Silnov actually served as the senior vice president of the Russian track federation until he stepped down in June 2019. He stepped down from his post after the Athletics Integrity Unit opened an investigation into his personal conduct. It began after they suspected that he used a banned steroid called DHCMT — commonly known as turinabol — while competing.

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