OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Baranova sent home for failed drugs test
By Stephen Watson, Sportsbeat, London 2012
TRACK cyclist Victoria Baranova was sent home from the Russian squad after testing positive for a prohibited substance prior to the London 2012 Games.
Baranova, ranked as the world number two, failed a pre-Olympic dope test carried out by the IOC for testosterone and was expected to provide serious competition to Victoria Pendleton in the women’s keirin as she won her gold.
A planned hearing was cancelled as the 22-year-old admitted to the offence, but British cyclist Mark Cavendish, speaking as a pundit on BBC Television, was scathing in his criticism of Baranova.
"It is frustrating. Our sport has been dragged through a lot, really dragged through the mud. It is always in the spotlight,” said Cavendish.
“Our sport has put in so much money and effort, and a few individuals just don't care and it's not fair on the rest of us. It really winds me up. It's really disappointing.”
Meanwhile, Belarussian hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan has also been kicked out of the Olympic Games – after failing a drugs test in 2004.
Tsikhan, a three time world champion, tested positive on a retested sample from Athens – the Games in which he won a silver medal.
Oleg Grinko, a Belarus team spokesman said: "We have received a letter from the International Athletics Federation that we should take out Ivan Tsikhan for doping from 2004 in Athens."
The International Olympic Committee store samples from the Olympics for eight years to allow retesting.
© Sportsbeat 2012