UCI confirms three Russian cyclists withdrawn from Olympic Games

The UCI confirmed today that three cyclists will be unable to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to the IOC Executive Board's decision to ban all Russian athletes who have served doping bans in the past.

Cyclingnews understands that Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin, winner of a stage in the Tour de France, and 2012 Olympic double bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya are two of the athletes who have been withdrawn by the Russian Olympic Committee. The UCI did not specifically name any riders.

Three more cyclists have been identified by the World Anti-Doping Agency as potentially ineligible to compete due to pending doping cases.

"The UCI, through the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), is in the process of identifying relevant rider samples and is in close dialogue with WADA to move forward with these cases immediately. It has also passed the names of these three athletes to the IOC in the context of its Executive Board decision."

The IOC Executive Board decision to bar Russian athletes implicated in doping came following the independent investigation report by Richard McLaren that detailed hundreds of "disappearing positive" doping tests, 26 of which came from cycling.

According to the report, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory conspired to cover up doping by athletes by pre-screening doping controls for banned substances, and falsely entering negative results into the anti-doping computer system for positive samples.

The IOC also found 45 doping positives in re-analysis of samples from the Beijing and London Olympics. The UCI did not specify which investigation the three cycling cases stemmed from.

That leaves 11 cyclists competing for Russia at the Rio Games.  The CADF has "carried out a careful assessment on the other 11 riders", the UCI stated, "After thorough analysis of the testing history of these riders and considering the scrutiny currently being applied to all of them, the UCI and CADF believe that this is sufficient for these athletes to meet the relevant requirement of the decision of the IOC Executive Board."

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