MONACO (AP) — Russian race walker Yekaterina Medvedeva was banned for eight years Friday for a second doping offense.

The 25-year-old Medvedeva was once one of Russia’s most promising young athletes after winning the world under-20 title in 2012.

The Athletics Integrity Unit brought the case after finding Medvedeva’s blood samples showed unnaturally high levels of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen.

Medvedeva argued that was because of a medical condition but a disciplinary tribunal said “her testimony has been vague” and was rejected by scientific experts.

Russia dominated race walking for years but almost all its top competitors have since been banned for doping, and its former head coach banned for life. Medvedeva, who also raced under her married name Yekaterina Ryzhova, is one of more than 30 Russian walkers to have served doping bans.

Russia has been banned from international track and field since 2015 for widespread doping. Dozens of Russians are allowed to compete as neutral athletes, but that didn’t include Medvedeva because of her previous doping ban in 2013. Russia is hoping to be reinstated in time for next month’s world championships.

Also Friday, the Russian track federation banned a coach and another official from overseeing any competitions for a year after investigating allegedly forged results at a meet in Siberia.


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