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Russian junior cross-country ski champ banned for doping

January 28, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian sports authorities say the country’s reigning national junior cross-country skiing champion over 50 kilometers has been banned for doping.

Nikita Mashkin, 20, was banned for an unspecified “breach of anti-doping rules” along with female youth skier Arina Kalinina, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement. Both were hit with two-year sanctions.

The bans come at a time when Russian sport is under pressure from multiple doping scandals.

Last month, cross-country skiing was among several sports in which the Russian anti-doping agency was alleged to have covered up positive tests for leading athletes, according to former agency official Vitaly Stepanov’s statements in a documentary on German TV channel ARD.

Stepanov’s accusations helped prompt an investigation into Russian sport by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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