Two Russians thrown out of London Paralympics for doping - committee

Two Russian powerlifters have been disqualified from the current Paralympics in London for doping offenses.

Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin had taken neotropin, a drug prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Russian Paralympic Committee said in a statement obtained by Interfax.

"Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin sincerely confessed to what can be called an inappropriate act. Nevertheless, that act discredits the good name of Russian Paralympians and puts Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin outside the Paralympic family. Both of them have been disqualified," the Committee said.

It pointed out that neotropin does not, in fact, boost one's athletic performance.

"The athletes said that it had been their own initiative to take the drug; they had obtained information from the Internet and had acquired the drug itself through the Internet, without notifying their coaches, their physician or the leadership of their athletic federation," the statement said.

It cited Rakitin and Marfin as saying they had taken neotropin as a painkiller.

"Vadim Rakitin and Nikolai Marfin have been practicing Paralympic powerlifting for more than 12 years, and it is true, given the specific nature of this sport, that they have developed problems with arm ligaments. Over the past year, they have repeatedly sought medical assistance. However, their treatment had failed to produce the desired results, and for this reason the athletes tried to solve the problem by themselves," the statement said.

"It has been found put that these athletes repeatedly took the banned substance without any visible clinical results and without any improvement in their athletic performance. In global rankings in their weight categories, they have never risen higher than seventh place nor would they have been able to expect any higher place," it said.

The Russian Paralympic Committee "has already taken, and will take, additional resolute measures to rule out such deplorable situations," the statement said. "We bring our apologies for the incident."

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