FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, July 21, 2016, Russian high jumper Ivan Ukhov during the Russian Athletics Cup, at Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia. Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov is among 12 Russian track and field athletes found guilty of taking part in state-backed doping, according to an announcement Friday Feb. 1, 2019, by The Court of Arbitration for Sport. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, FILE)

Olympic champion among 12 Russian athletes guilty of doping

February 01, 2019 - 11:42 am

GENEVA (AP) — Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov was among 12 Russian track and field athletes found guilty Friday of taking part in state-backed doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Ukhov has been disqualified from the 2012 London Olympics, while hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko and high jumper Svetlana Shkolina also have been disqualified after winning gold at the 2013 world championships.

"The procedures stem from the investigation conducted by Professor Richard McLaren, mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency, in relation to allegations of systemic doping practices in Russian sport," the court said in a statement.

CAS ruled the athletes "participated in and/or benefited from anabolic steroid doping" in the period before the London Olympics and through the 2013 worlds in Moscow.

Ukhov and Shkolina were given four-year bans on Friday. An eight-year ban was imposed on Lysenko for her second offense, backdated to run until July 2024.

Two Americans are now in line to become gold medalists years after their events.

With Ukhov disqualified, the International Olympic Committee can upgrade silver medalist Erik Kynard of the United States to become the 2012 champion.

With Shkolina's disqualification from the 2013 worlds, another American, Brigetta Barrett, is in line to get the gold medal from the IAAF. It would be Barrett's first world title.

Two-time Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland could be upgraded to the 2013 world title if Lysenko is stripped of her title.

The Russian athletes, including 2014 world indoor triple jump champion Lyukman Adams, can file appeals to a separate division of CAS, which acted as the initial disciplinary hearing in these cases.

CAS prosecuted the athletes on behalf of the Russian track federation, which has been suspended by the IAAF since 2015. A WADA investigation report involving McLaren detailed extensive doping and cover-ups in Russian track and field back then.

The rulings vindicate evidence provided by McLaren and Grigory Rodchenkov. The Russian whistleblower has long detailed steroid programs and cover-ups, including "washout testing" ahead of major championships he said he oversaw as director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow and then in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Part of their evidence was rejected by previous CAS panels one year ago, when some Russian athletes overturned their disqualifications from the Sochi Olympics on appeal.

"Today's CAS rulings confirm that the evidence underlying the McLaren Reports is reliable and is capable of establishing Anti-Doping Rule Violations," said Brett Clothier, head of the IAAF's Athletics Integrity Unit, which helped prepare the case. "It is very encouraging for us and gives us the possibility to pursue more cases."

Russian track federation head Dmitry Shlyakhtin said other cases could follow.

"We knew about this list and I don't think it will be the last one," Shlyakhtin said in comments published by Russian state news agency R-Sport. "There will be more names and more verdicts, and we've still got the retests of Moscow laboratory samples ahead of us."

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AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Moscow contributed to this report.

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