Irina Starykh

Thursday Rundown: Hochfilzen, Canmore and U23/JW Trials

Today in Hochfilzen, Austria, Dorothea Wierer of Italy won the sprint in a time of 21:04.9 minutes. Wierer missed one shot standing for a single penalty during the race. Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland was close behind in second, 0.6 seconds back. Mäkäräinen also had one missed target standing. Third place went to Russia’s Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht, finishing 24.4 seconds behind. Yurlova-Percht short clean in the race. Susan Dunklee was the best placed American in 34th (+1:33.0,...

Rodchenkov Testimony in Zaitseva Case Includes Entire Biathlon Team: Doping Before and After Sochi

On Friday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) posted the reasoned decision from its Disciplinary Commission, in which Russian biathlete Olga Zaitseva was disqualified from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Zaitseva’s disqualification had been announced previously, but this is the first full-length decision presenting the evidence for the disqualification of any biathlete. Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova have also been suspended, but the Oswald Commission’s full decisions for their cases have not yet been released....

U.S. Men, Canadian Women 9th in Extra Windy, Hochfilzen Relays

Strong gusts of wind on the range required strong nerves and a lot of luck in the women’s and men’s relay races that concluded the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, on Sunday afternoon. While the relays concluded with teams on the podium one might expect there, tempestuous weather conditions that at times made it almost impossible to hit the targets also gave outsiders a good chance, and both the U.S. men...

Sunday Rundown: Falun, Duszniki-Zdrój, & The Marcialonga (Updated x4)

FIS Cross-Country World Cup (Falun, Sweden): 15 / 30 k classic mass start Men’s report In the women’s 15-kilometer classic mass start on Sunday, Norway swept the podium with Marit Bjørgen taking the win in a time of 41:28.8 in Falun, Sweden. Crossing just half a second behind her was her teammate, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in second place. Rounding out the podium was Heidi Weng in third (+8.1). American Jessie Diggins was the first to cross the line...

Saturday Rundown: Falun & Duszniki-Zdrój (Updated x2)

FIS Cross-Country World Cup (Falun, Sweden): Men’s & women’s freestyle sprints Men’s report [UPDATED] Kikkan Randall reached the final for the first time since March 2015 on Saturday in the women’s 1.4-kilometer freestyle sprint at the World Cup in Falun, Sweden. The American qualified 26th and went on to advance in second out of her quarterfinal and semifinal to reach the six-woman final, where she ended up fifth. Sweden’s Stina Nilsson won the final by one-hundredth of...

Friday Rundown: IBU Open European World Championships (Updated)

IBU Open European Championships (Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland): Men’s & women’s sprints On Friday in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint, two Bulgarian athletes were able to break the Russian dominance at the 2017 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Open European Championships in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland. Bulgaria’s 29-year-old Vladimir Iliev, who has competed on the IBU World Cup since 2007 and posted a career-best fifth (which he achieved earlier this season), claimed the win in a time of 24:26.9 minutes despite one penalty in...

Wednesday Rundown: IBU Open European Championships

IBU Open European Championships (Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland): 15/20 k individual The Open European Championships, a five-day International Biathlon Union (IBU) sanctioned event, opened Wednesday with the men’s 20-kilometer and women’s 15 k individual races in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland. Russia took first and second in the women’s race, with 29-year-old Irina Starykh — who also recently served a two-year ban for testing positive for EPO — winning by 11.4 seconds in 44:54.9. He had one penalty in his first prone stage...

Starykh and Loginov Return to International Competition

The Russian rosters for January competition will include two names not seen in a while: Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov. Both are returning to international competition after serving suspensions for using the blood-doping drug erythropoietin (EPO). Irina Starykh Makes a Fast Return Starykh Starykh failed an out-of-competition test in December 2013 month along with teammate Ekaterina Iourieva. 2013-2014 had been a breakout season for her so far. When asked how she had improved so much by a Russian...

Four Biathletes’ Names Not Scrubbed from McLaren Report; 31 Still Unnamed

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has received a list of 31 Russian athletes involved in doping, IBU President Anders Besseberg told Norway’s VG newspaper. The information came from Besseberg said. “I reckon that we on the board will make recommendations within a week… of those athletes who the Committee believes should be provisionally excluded.” Some information about the athletes, however, can already be gleaned from the McLaren report. For example, one document in the Evidence...

Starykh Banned for Two Years; Claims EPO Was in Cosmetic Injections of Human Placenta

The International Biathlon Union has finally announced the verdict for Irina Starykh of Russia: a two-year ban beginning on December 23, 2013, the date samples were collected which eventually tested positive for recombinant erythropoetin. Starykh claims that the substance must have been in a drug she injected to improve her skin, but this seems unlikely.

Biathlon’s Aggressive Testing Led to Starykh Suspension — But Is It Enough?

Three biathletes were recently caught doping - but does that count as cleaning out the sport, or is it just the tip of the banned-substance iceberg? According to IBU medical director Dr. Jim Carrabre, the biathlon union has doubled their testing in the leadup to the Olympics and is using the blood passport program to aggressively target potential dopers. Some substances can't be detected, but the federation is pushing as hard as current science and WADA rules allow.

More Reactions as Starykh Doping Scandal Grows Clearer

Some of Irina Starykh's competitors are defending her, saying the investigation is not yet complete; administrators and coaches from Scandinavia wonder how stupid you'd have to be to try doping in the leadup to the Olympics; a former IOC medical director believes Starykh's coach and team doctor are the last vestiges of the old Soviet doping system, and hopes they will be weeded out.

Starykh Confirmed as Target of Doping Investigation, Resigns from Team; Blame Placed on ‘Doping Doctors’

In a letter to the Russian Biathlon Union, Irina Starykh confirmed that the IBU had notified her of a positive "A" sample. She resigned from the team until the situation is clarified, and also so that she could attend the opening of the "B" sample. Meanwhile, Alexander Tikhonov points out that a doctor sacked in 2009 after a doping scandal was re-hired this year, and was present on the World Cup circuit.

With News of Positive Doping Test, Russian Biathlon Union Turns Defensive; North American Athletes React

The International Biathlon Union handed provisional sanctions to three athletes who tested positive for banned substances. Russian website Championat is alleging that two are Ekaterina Iourieva, a 2008 World Champion who has already served one doping ban for EPO; and Irina Starykh, currently the top-ranked Russian woman. Across the biathlon world, athletes expressed frustration and dismay.