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Russia ordered to return Beijing Olympic medals

Evgeniya Polyakova of Russia (L) and her teammates Yuliya Chermoshanskaya (C), Aleksandra Fedoriva (R) and Yulia Gushchina in Beijing. Credit: Reuters

Russia has been ordered to return their gold medals from the 2008 Beijing Olympics 4x100m women's relay, after Yulia Chermoshanskaya tested positive for a banned substance in a reanalysis of her sample.

The International Olympic Committee disqualified her for testing positive for steroid use.

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Russian track and field athlete suspended from Rio 2016

Darya Klishina. Credit: Reuters

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says it has suspended Russia's sole track and field competitor Darya Klishina from Rio 2016, and that she is appealing the ruling.

IAAF spokesman Yannis Nikolaou told the Associated Press that the governing body revoked eligibility for the long jumper based on new information it received last week.

He declined to specify what the new information was.

Klishina said she intends to appeal the IAAF's decision.

"I am a clean athlete and have proved that already many times and beyond any doubt," she said.

"I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes."

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Russian helicopter shot down in Idlib, officials say

File picture of an Mi-8 helicopter. Credit: Reuters

A Russian helicopter with five people on board has been shot down in Syria's Idlib province, officials said.

The Kremlin said the three crew members and two officers on board the Mi-8 military transport helicopter were dead.

Officials said the helicopter was shot down as it made its way back to base after delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they died a "heroic death" as the helicopter had tried to veer away from inhabited areas to avoid civilian deaths.

He said that Moscow would continue fighting international terrorism "on all fronts" despite threats from Islamic State.

On Sunday, Islamic State posted a nine-minute video message on YouTube, calling on its members to carry out jihad in Russia.

IOC panel will have final say over Russian athletes

Russian athletes need to be cleared to participate in the Rio Games Credit: Reuters

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel of three will have the final say on which Russian athletes can compete at the Rio Olympic Games.

The panel will review all decisions made by international federations, the IOC said Saturday.

Earlier this month the IOC set criteria for Russians to compete in Rio after the sporting world was rocked by revelations of state-backed doping in the country.

More than 250 Russian athletes have so far been cleared to compete in this year's games, which start next week.

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio Olympics

This is Russia's first outright ban in a sport at Rio 2016. Credit: Reuters

Russia's weightlifting team has been banned from competing at the Rio Olympics next month.

Russia avoided a blanket ban on competing at the Games, which start on August 5, earlier this week revelations surrounding a doping scandal.

But the International Weightlifting Federation has now banned Russia from competing in its sport entirely, saying Russian competitors were named in a World Anti-Doping Agency report exposing evidence of state-backed cheating.

"The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians," the IWF said in a statement.

"Therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport".

This is the first sport to impose an outright ban on Russia athletes competing in Brazil.

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