Biathlete Irina Starykh leaves Russian Olympic team following positive drug test

Jan 30, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; General view of mountain cluster Olympic Village during its opening prior to 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

In a letter sent to the Russian Biathlon Union’s website, Irina Starykh announced her decision to leave the Olympic team.

Starykh, along with two other athletes, recently failed a doping test.

Although she believes a test of her “B” sample could exonerate her, Starykh said she didn’t feel comfortable being a member of the Russian Olympic team with the cloud of controversy hanging over her head:

I got into a difficult situation and I think it is necessary to inform you about my decision to leave the team’s disposition for an indefinite period of time. I received a notification from the IBU, which says, that one of my probes gave a positive result. This news was highly unexpected for me. Believe me, I am truly sorry, that this story is linked to my name.


I immediately decided to go for an opening of the B probe, as I consider everything what had happened to me as a misunderstanding. However, until the end of all proceedings, I consider it to be unacceptable to stay with the team. I well know, that in the eyes of the public I will through a shadow on the team as long as there are no results of the B probe opening. I have neither right nor desire to set up the girls and the entire team. I ask to exclude me from the national team until the finish of investigation and inform on my behalf all organizations required. I wish good luck to our team (!

The Sochi Olympics begin on February 7.



Topics: Biathlon, Irina Starykh, Russia

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