7 Aug 2008

Russians are systematically doping, says IOC drugs chief

7:38 am on 7 August 2008

The International Olympics Committee drugs chief Arne Ljungqvist has accused Russia of systematic doping after seven athletes were hit with suspensions which could lead to four-year bans.

Professor Ljungqvist says a year ago he would've said no had be been asked if organised doping involving more than one athlete was still going on.

But the Swede, who is also a vice-president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, says he's hugely disappointed at what seems to be an example of systematic, planned doping.

This type of offence falls under a new category in the WADA code, and hence allow a four-year ban.

Arne Ljungqvist says there'll be 4,500 doping tests at the Olympics, with at least 700 blood samples.