Four weightlifters are among seven Russian athletes to have been given four-year bans for violating the country’s anti-doping rules.
Valeriy Temnik, Roman Rednikin, Sergey Oreshnikov and Fatima Umakhanova have all been handed the sanction, ruling them out of competing at the 2018 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships here in Turkmenistan’s capital.
According to Russian media, Temnik and Umakhanova tested positive for banned substances, while Rednikin and Oreshnikov were sanctioned for failing to appear at doping tests.
The other three athletes to have received four-year sanctions - Natalia Polyakova, Tatyana Kachegina and Sergey Kotov - have been given them by the All-Russian Athletics Federation.
Shot putter Yana Mikhailova, meanwhile, has been suspended for two-years with the ban backdated to July 12 of this year.
Russia was among nine nations - along with China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Turkey - banned last year by the IWF for having multiple positives in the re-testing of doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in Beijing and London respectively.
The country, which had already been suspended from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, missed last year's IWF World Championships in Anaheim in California.
It has now served its one-year suspension and returned to competition.
In a recent interview with insidethegames, IWF President Tamás Aján was asked how big a risk he considered the awarding of the 2020 European Championships to Russia on the day its suspension ended, and whether he felt this indicated that Russia had completely sorted out its long-standing doping problems under its new organisers.
"To be clear the host of the European Championships is selected by the European Weightlifting Federation, not the IWF, so I would recommend you ask them," he said.
"The Russian Weightlifting Federation has made good progress in ensuring clean sport and has served its suspension.
"The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has of course also been reinstated.
"But we will continue to monitor the situation closely, as we will do all nations."
Artem Okulov secured Russia their first two medals of the 2018 IWF World Championships after coming out on top in the men’s 89 kilograms clean and jerk and total events yesterday.