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Russians bar coach in doping row

  • Story Highlights
  • Russian head coach Valery Kulichenko suspended over doping controversy
  • Top athletes Tatyana Lysenko and Yekaterina Khoroshikh tested positive
  • Kulichenko strongly denies being involved in doping
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MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- The Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) has suspended head coach Valery Kulichenko following a doping controversy involving two leading athletes, officials said on Wednesday.

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World record holder Lysenko would have been a strong favorite for gold in Osaka.

Women's hammer world record holder Tatyana Lysenko and European junior champion Yekaterina Khoroshikh face two-year bans after testing positive for a hormone blocker in May.

Lysenko and Khoroshikh, who declined to have their B samples tested, deny any wrongdoing.

Nikolai Beloborodov, who coaches both athletes, had accused Kulichenko of supplying the substance to the two women.

That is a charge strongly denied by Kulichenko.

"This is just pure nonsense," Kulichenko, who is in hospital recuperating from a heart problem, was quoted as saying by local media.

But the RAF's executive board decided to suspend its head coach until the matter was fully investigated.

Lysenko, 23, would have been an overwhelming favorite to win her first global title at this month's world championships in Osaka, Japan after smashing her own world record with a throw of 78.61 meters on May 26 in Sochi.

She won the 2006 European title in Gothenburg, Sweden and has set three world records in the past 12 months. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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