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Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Belarusians appeal Olympic doping violations

Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Two Belarusian hammer throwers who were stripped of their Olympic medals for doping have appealed to world sport's highest court to get them back.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday that Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan filed appeals to overturn a Dec. 11 ruling by the International Olympic Committee's executive board disqualifying the pair from the Beijing Games.

No date has been set for the hearings. The appeal process is expected to last four months.

Devyatovskiy and Tsikhan, who won silver and bronze respectively, tested positive for abnormal levels of testosterone after the hammer throw final on Aug. 17. They denied the doping charges at an IOC disciplinary hearing in Lausanne in September.

The IOC also banned the 31-year-old Devyatovskiy from the Olympics for life because it was his second doping offense. He served a two-year suspension from 2000-02.

Under International Association of Athletics Federations rules, he faces a lifetime ban from the sport for two doping violations.

It was the first offense for the 32-year-old Tsikhan, a three-time world champion and silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He faces a two-year ban from the IAAF and exclusion from the 2012 London Games.

New IOC rules call for any athlete suspended for six months or more for doping to be banned from the next Olympics.

The silver medal in hammer throwing was later awarded to Krisztian Pars of Hungary and the bronze to Koji Murofushi of Japan. Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia won the gold medal.