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Russia suspends three young riders

This harmless looking device

This harmless looking device (Image credit: Jon Devich)

The Russian cycling federation has suspended three riders for anti-doping violations, it announced this week. It did not say when or how the violations occurred.

Ilnur Zakarin, 19 years old and European junior time-trial champion in 2007, was suspended two years after testing positive for the forbidden anabolic methandienone. The product introduced in the 1960s was very popular with bodybuilders for building up body mass. It has been banned in the United States, but is still readily available in Russia.

Former Russian mountain bike champion Ykaterina Melnikova, 22, was also banned for two years for the same product.

Mountain biker Kiril Bozhenko, 22, was banned for one year after testing positive for carphedon. The Russian-developed drug is said to increase physical stamina and improve tolerance for cold. Russian athletes in other disciplines have been suspended for the use of carphedon in 2006 and 2008. In cycling, German Danilo Hondo was suspended after testing positive for it in 2005.