Olympic champ Zaripova faces losing gold in doping ban
MOSCOW (AP) Russian athlete Yulia Zaripova faces losing her gold medal in the 3,000 steeplechase from the 2012 London Olympics after being banned for doping.
The Russian anti-doping agency banned Zaripova on Friday for two years and six months. The suspension was backdated from July 2013, which leaves her eligible to compete in next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The agency says Zaripova's results would be annulled for parts of 2011 and 2012, dates which include her Olympic victory but not her world championship gold medal in 2011.
The Russian agency's chief executive, Ramil Khabriev, says in a statement that Zaripova's biological passport data indicated "the use of a banned method" for replicating high-altitude conditions.
The Olympic silver medalist in London was Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia. Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia won the bronze.
Russian athletics has faced repeated doping scandals in recent months.