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  Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Russian Olympic biathlon champion Olga Pyleva, disqualified two years
Russian Olympic biathlon champion Olga Pyleva, disqualified two years ago for doping, will have the right to compete at the 2008 European Championships, the Russian sports agency said on Thursday.

Pyleva, 31, who won silver in the 15km individual at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, was ordered by the main Olympic executive body to leave Italy after testing positive for a banned substance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Pyleva of her medals and banned her for two-years from international biathlon competitions. The International Biathlon Union decided later in a closed session to uphold the two-year ban.

Pavel Rostovtsev, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sport's regional department, said the Russian Biathlon Union had given Pyleva the right to represent Russia in the European championship, to be held in February in the Czech Republic.

"Her [Pyleva's] term of disqualification expires in two weeks, and as we understand that Pyleva is highly talented athlete and has not yet used her full potential," Rostovtsev said. The athlete has been practicing hard recently and in good shape, he added.

Pyleva, 32, a mother of two, won gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City in the 10 km pursuit and bronze in the relay.

Russian cross-country skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova were also stripped of their medals and banned from participating in the sport for two years after they tested positive for doping at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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