Russian cyclist accepts doping ban, is cleared to compete at Olympics

Olga Zabelinskaya had already been cleared by the Russian Cycling Federation, but has now resolved the case with the UCI

Photo: Graham Watson

Russian cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya has accepted an 18-month doping ban but will be eligible to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer.

The rider, who took the bronze medals in both the road race and time trial at London 2012, was previously cleared of any wrong doing by the Russian Cycling Federation after testing positive for the banned stimulant octopamine in March 2014.

That decision was challenged by the UCI and the appeal was due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The case was "resolved via an acceptance of consequences" by the athlete, which meant Zabelinskaya accepted an 18-month ban.

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The year and a half doping ban expired in September 2015 and as such the Russian's preparations for the Olympics are unlikely to have been too thoroughly affected.

Present World Champion Lizzie Armitstead is seen by many as the women to beat for the Olympic road race, but she has stated that she is not the favourite for the hilly course.

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online.