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Romania, Belarus canoe teams banned from Olympics for doping

July 16, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Canoe Federation has banned sprint teams from Romania and Belarus from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for widespread doping.

The ICF says its executive board imposed one-year suspensions for both teams “with immediate effect.”

ICF President Jose Perurena says “we will do everything within our powers to remove them (cheats) from our sport.”

Olympic places will be reallocated by Monday’s deadline after talks with the IOC and national Olympic bodies, the world canoeing body says.

The ICF says “systemic doping” by Romania’s team with meldonium, an eastern European heart drug banned since January, was proven after 11 athletes tested positive at training in April.

Five Belarus team members violated anti-doping rules at a training camp in France that is the subject of a criminal investigation.