April 27, 2010 / 2:32 PM / 9 years ago

Russian runner Alminova escapes with three-month ban

Russia's Anna Alminova celebrates her victory in the 1500 meters at the European Team Championship in Leiria city stadium in Portugal in this June 21, 2009 file photo. Alminova has been banned for three months for failing a drugs test, world's athletics governing body IAAF said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - European indoor 1,500 metres champion Anna Alminova has been banned for three months for failing a drugs test, world’s athletics governing body IAAF said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Russian tested positive for the banned substance pseudoephedrine at last month’s world indoor championships in Doha, where she finished seventh in the 1,500m final, the IAAF said on its website (www.iaaf.org).

Viktor Berezov, a member of the anti-doping commission of the Russian athletics federation, said Alminova was given a lighter sentence because she had treated herself with a over- the-counter cold medicine containing the substance.

“We just received confirmation from the IAAF that they had approved Alminova’s sanction,” Berezov told local media.

Seven other top Russian female athletes, including twice world 1,500 metres champion Tatyana Tomashova and world indoor 1,500 metres champion Yelena Soboleva, were handed two-year doping bans for manipulating their drug samples in 2008.

Alminova, whose suspension ends on July 8, said she plans to compete at the European championships in Barcelona from July 27 to August 1.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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