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Biathlon: Russian and Lithuanian biathletes fail dope tests

Three biathletes representing Russia and Lithuania have been provisionally suspended after their A samples tested positive for banned substances, the International Biathlon Federation (IBU) said Wednesday.

BERLIN: Three biathletes representing Russia and Lithuania have been provisionally suspended after their A samples tested positive for banned substances, the International Biathlon Federation (IBU) said Wednesday.

The IBU did not give the names of the athletes, the date or location of their positive tests nor reveal what their samples had tested positive for.

"Four adverse analytical findings were obtained in samples of three IBU athletes from Russia and Lithuania," said the IBU statement.

"The outcome of the test showed the presence of a non-specific substance. According to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code, the IBU therefore provisionally suspended the respective athletes from any IBU competitions until the decision of the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel is reached.

"The respective athletes were all suspended provisionally, pending the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel's decision.

"Due to the upcoming Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was informed accordingly."

The Olympics begin in just 10 days’ time in Sochi, Russia.

The Russian Biathlon Federation announced on Wednesday an emergency meeting of its anti-doping commission.

The last big doping scandal in biathlon in 2008/09 involved Russian athletes Ekaterina Iourieva, Albina Akhatova and Dimitri Yaroshenmko testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO. All three received two-year bans.

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