Russian track team faces doping scandal

With one week to go before the Beijing Olympics, Russia suddenly has its own version of a Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative doping scandal involving some of the track team's biggest stars.

After a 1 1/2 -year investigation, the IAAF provisionally suspended seven female Russian athletes yesterday, accusing them of tampering with their urine samples.

The list includes Yelena Soboleva, a world-record holder and world champion middle-distance runner who was favored to win the 800 and 1,500 meters at the Olympics.

The seven athletes, many of them potential Olympic medalists, come from several disciplines, including middle-distance running and the hammer and discus throw.

The athletes could still compete at the Beijing Games if they were to get an emergency ruling lifting the provisional suspension.

Drug testing

There will be 4,500 doping tests for the Games, a 25percent increase from the 2004 Athens Olympics. That includes 1,300 pre-competition tests and almost 800 blood tests.

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