2019 Jr World Time Trial Champion Aigula Gareeva has been provisionally suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSA) for failure to submit location information and required anti-doping tests three times over the past year.
Irakli Abrahamyan, head coach of the Russian National Cycling Team, said the 20 year-old was just careless, “She was not found to have doping, Gareeva was suspended for another violation which was the result of her carelessness, one might say so.”
Gareeva finished 4th at the Russian National Championship Road Race and then 4th in the Time Trial last summer and was suspended a few weeks later.
This is not the first time Gareeva has taken a wrong turn during her cycling career, in 2019 when she won the world time trial title she ignored instructions from a course marshal and missed a turn in the closing kilometres.
The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) requires elite level athletes provide anti-doping organisations with personal location information at all times and submit testing samples when requested without issue.
RUSA has been rocked by a long running doping crisis and lack of testing credibility, highlighted by the Oscar-winning cycling/doping film Icarus. Questionable anti-doping procedures resulted in Russia being banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup in Qatar.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has not set a hearing date for Gareeva’s case to be heard.
PHOTOS: F. Ossola