Athletics: Russians give life ban to Artyomova

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The Independent Online
NATALYA ARTYOMOVA, last year's world No 1 over 1500 metres, has become the first Russian athlete to be banned for life. The ban was imposed after she tried to fake the results of a drug test.

The Russian Athletics Federation had initially banned her for four years for failing the test at the Bislett Games in Oslo in July. But Valentin Balakhnichev, the federation chairman, said the ban was increased as she had tried to deceive doctors at the Games by substituting her sample after concealing a rubber pouch of clean urine in her underwear.

Artyomova, 29, set an unratified world mile record of 4min 15.8sec in 1984, but her record at major championships is poor. She won the CIS 1500m Olympic trial in June, but was barred from last year's CIS world championship team for disciplinary reasons. She is married to the national coach, Sergey Kharitonov.

Katrin Krabbe's hopes of contesting her four-year drugs ban receded yesterday when her club, Neubrandenburg, announced its intention to expel her.

The German athletics federation recommended to the International Amateur Athletic Federation three weeks ago that Krabbe, the world 100 and 200m champion, Grit Breuer, the world 400m silver medallist, and Manuela Derr be banned after they tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance, during random tests in July.

The three former East Germans had planned to appeal to the German athletics federation's legal commission, but they will have no legal right to appeal if they are thrown out of their club. Neubrandenburg said it would make a final ruling at a meeting on 19 October.