2 Russian biathletes banned based on doping lab data

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Russian biathletes were banned for doping Tuesday based on computer data from a laboratory in Moscow.

The International Biathlon Union handed four-year bans to Alexander Chernyshov and Alexander Pechyonkin because of “aggravating circumstances (participating in an organized doping scheme).”

The cases relied on information from the lab database, which held records of years of drug testing at a time when Russian officials routinely covered up cases.

The IBU said that two other biathlon cases using the lab data are still ongoing. The athletes in those cases are Olympic gold medalists Evgeny Ustyugov and Svetlana Sleptsova.

Another Russian, Ekaterina Glazyrina, was banned for two years in 2018 because evidence of her drug use was covered up prior to the 2014 Olympics.

The IBU has prioritized clearing up older Russian cases as its own conduct comes under scrutiny. The IBU’s then-president and general secretary both stepped down last year after Austrian police raided the body’s headquarters as part of an investigation into alleged bribes to cover up Russian doping.

More doping cases could follow across multiple sports after the World Anti-Doping Agency gained access to more stored data and samples from the lab this year.