World Championship Biathlon Medalist Fails Doping Test

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has announced the former World Championship medalist Sergei Sednev has failed a doping test. Russian Alexander Loginov has also been suspended for doping, according to an announcement by the IBU. Loginov, the 20-year-old four-time World Junior Championship gold medalist and Sochi Olympian, could lose a World Cup relay gold.

IBU President Anders Besseberg also said many more doping scandals could soon follow. Besseberg told Norwegian television station NRK that the sport is set to be hit with the biggest doping scandal in its history. The IBU chief said he cannot go into the detail as of now but there are some positive samples from athletes from several nations. Besseberg added that we have developed new methods for testing thanks to new technologies and so we were able to test the old samples again. He went on to add that we put the samples that are considered suspicious and not very clean, and look forward to new techniques that can identify these samples, if finally is something wrong with them or they are clean.

The body said on its official website that the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing panel will decide about the period of ineligibility for both athletes. The 22-year-old Loginov tested positive for an unspecified banned substance on November 25 and was expelled from the 2014-15 Biathlon World Cup.

Sednev, who won a bronze medal at the 2011 world championships and announced his retirement last month, tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which is a blood boosting hormone. In a statement, the Ukrainian Biathlon federation (UBF) said it had questioned Sednev who was unable to explain or refute the use of illegal substances. The UBF said on its official website the athlete was given the opportunity of opening the B sample. But as Sednev had finished his career after poor results over the past seasons, he decided not to conduct the further analysis.

In the recent past, Biathlon has been hit by many doping scandals. Under the new anti-doping measures, Russian athletes Ekaterina Iourieva and Irina Starykh are expected to face extended bans due to the result of their samples being re-analyzed. Ekaterina and Irina tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) before the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Iourieva received an eight-year doping ban for her second offense while Starkh received a ban of two years for her failed drugs test. None of the athletes requested their B-samples to be tested. The sample of Starykh was collected in Oberhof, Germany, on January 2, 2014 and the samples of Iourieva were collected for re-analysis in Östersund, Sweden, on November 28 and 29, 2013. Iourieva announced her retirement from the sport after she failed her second doping test.

In February last year, two-time Olympic champion Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle of Germany was caught doping.

In December, IBU vice-president Gottlieb Taschler was criticized after it was alleged that he arranged a meeting with Michele Ferrari, the disgraced doctor who played a big role in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, and his son Daniel Taschler, who is a member of the Italian biathlon team.

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