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Former canoe world champion from Russia banned for 4 years

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Canoe Federation says former world champion Oleg Zhestkov of Russia has been banned for four years for doping.

The ICF says Zhestkov, who competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, tested positive for the banned endurance-boosting hormone EPO in a sample taken by Russia’s anti-doping agency while training in March.

Zhestkov was cleared to compete in the men’s kayak in Rio only after the governing body analyzed which Russian athletes were implicated in a state-backed doping program.

He was a member of the Russian team that placed ninth in the K-4 1,000 class, after being seventh at the 2012 London Olympics.

Zhestkov, now 32, was in the Russian K-4 team that won gold at the 2013 world championships.

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