A banned weightlifter has competed in a bobsleigh competition on the Olympic track in Sochi ©Getty Images

Ilya Atnabayev, a former European Youth champion weightlifter who was handed a four-year doping ban in 2015, has now been suspended after mistakenly being allowed to participate in a top domestic bobsleigh competition by Russian authorities.

Atnabayev formed part of a four-man team from Krasnodar which finished in second place in November's Russian Bobsleigh Cup in Sochi - a primary selection competition for Russian athletes.

The 20-year-old is already halfway through a four-year doping ban, however, issued by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after he tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol in August 2015.

He was stripped of the under 85 kilograms silver medal he won at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Lima and remains on a IWF website list denoting how he is banned from competitions until June 16, 2019.

Atnabayev also won under 85kg gold at the 2014 European Youth Weightlifting Championships and was a reserve for the Russian team at the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Under international rules, athletes are not allowed to compete in one sport if they are already serving a doping suspension in another.

An article was written by Russian website Championat.com highlighting the situation and, shortly afterwards, it was reported by the Tass news agency that Atnabayev had been temporarily suspended and stripped of his Russian Cup silver medal.

Ilya Atnabayev had been a major weightlifting medal prospect before failing a drugs test in 2015 ©IWF
Ilya Atnabayev had been a major weightlifting medal prospect before failing a drugs test in 2015 ©IWF

The oversight has been blamed on the regional team from Krasnodar, however, rather than the Russian Bobsleigh Federation.

"The Bobsleigh Federation of Russia announces the temporary suspension of Ilya Atnabayev from competitions and training camps held under the auspices of the Federation because he is suspected of concealing from the leadership of the Krasnodar Federation the facts of violation of the anti-doping rules," national team manager and international judge Sergey Zhurkin told TASS.

"The final decision will be made after receiving documents from the Russian Anti-Doping agency."

Officials from Krasnodor attempted to pin the blame on the athlete himself.

"It is a pity that Atnabaev acted dishonestly towards us and his team-mates on the crew," Koban Federation of Bobsleigh President Petros Gasparyan told Kuban.RBC.

"Ilya really hid from us information about his disqualification in weightlifting and, as soon as we found out about this, we immediately notified the national federation. 

"I do not think that because of this situation the team of the Krasnodar Territory will be subjected to some additional sanctions."

This comes after seven member of the Russian bobsleigh team at Sochi 2014 have so far been retrospectively disqualified from their home Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for doping and sample tampering.

Russian bobsledders who won the four-man event at Sochi 2014 have now been disqualified for doping ©Getty Images
Russian bobsledders who won the four-man event at Sochi 2014 have now been disqualified for doping ©Getty Images

The group includes two-man and four-man champion Alexander Zubkov, the Russian Opening Ceremony flagbearer who has since been appointed President of the Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, along with his fellow four-man gold medal winners Aleksei Negodailo and Dmitrii Trunenkov.

Three members of the second Russian four-man team - Aleksandr Kas’yanov, Aleksei Pushkarev and Ilivir Khuzin - were yesterday handed similar punishments.

They all deny doping and are expected to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In total, 22 Russian athletes across the five sports of cross-country skiing, bobsleigh, biathlon, skeleton and speed skating have so far been suspended.

A decision on a possible Russian sanction from next year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang is due to be made by the IOC Executive Board on December 5.