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MOSCOW: The International Biathlon Union (IBU) said on Thursday that four Russian biathletes have allegedly committed anti-doping violations, but did not disclose their identities.

The IBU did not provide any additional information regarding the alleged offences nor did it identify the events in which the four biathletes had competed.

The Russian Biathlon Union said that three of the four biathletes identified by the IBU had retired, and that one was not currently on the national team.

Earlier this year Austrian police raided the IBU headquarters as part of an investigation into the organisation’s leadership that was linked to doping issues.

A string of doping scandals have rocked Russian sport in recent years and shaped the country’s relations with international sports bodies.

Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

However, some Russian athletes with no history of doping were cleared to compete as neutrals.

Russia has denied state-sponsored doping and has pledged to curb usage of banned performance-enhancing substances.

The country’s athletics federation, its anti-doping agency RUSADA and its Paralympic Committee remain suspended by international sporting bodies over doping allegations.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018