Athletics doping scandal: Russian runners say they are innocent

Russia doping crisis in 60 seconds

Two Russians facing doping bans say they are innocent and have threatened legal action to clear their names.

1500m runner Kristina Ugarova and 800m runner Tatyana Myazina were among the five athletes recommended for life bans in a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report last week.

Ugarova described the claims as "slanderous", while Myazina said: "I did not take any banned substances."

Russia's athletics federation has been provisionally suspended by the IAAF.

Inspectors for IAAF, the sport's governing body, will start work next year to decide whether Russia can be re-admitted to competition.

The Wada report examined allegations of doping, cover-ups and extortion in Russian athletics and also implicated the IAAF.

Allegations against Ugarova and Myazina were made in a German TV documentary last year, but both athletes are now poised to sue for defamation in Russian over those claims.

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The Wada report was commissioned on a "very narrow mandate" to "determine the accuracy" of the allegations made in that German TV documentary about Russian athletics last December.

'Wada needs an overhaul'

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, has recommended that all future doping sanctions be handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Currently bans are determined by governing bodies of individual sports.

"We are convinced this would lead to a more efficient, more transparent, more streamlined, more cost efficient, more harmonised anti-doping system," Bach said.

"It would better protect the clean athletes and enhance the credibility of sports."

The idea was welcomed by Cas, but secretary general Matthieu Reeb said there were "many steps to take before reaching the goal".