Doping-Biathlete Lapshin banned for a year, free to compete in Beijing

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Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics

(Reuters) - Biathlete Timofey Lapshin will be banned for a year for using a prohibited substance, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Friday, a shorter than usual penalty that allows him to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Lapshin, a Russian biathlete who switched his nationality to South Korea in 2017, was provisionally suspended by the Biathlon Integrity Unit in September last year when re-analysis of a 2013 sample showed it contained tuaminoheptane.

The substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and would normally entail a two-year-ban, but it was established that its source was a nasal spray and that Lapshin did not intend to enhance his performance or cheat.

Lapshin's results at the 10km sprint in Izhevsk, Russia, on Dec. 21 2013 were disqualified and the biathlete did not dispute the anti-doping rule violation.

"Timofey Lapshin is sanctioned with a twelve month period of ineligibility starting from the date of the final CAS ADD Award (23 April 2021), with credit given for the period of provisional suspension served since 23 September 2020," the CAS said in a statement.

"On balance, the Sole Arbitrator considered the athlete to have a 'normal' degree of fault which justified a 12-month period of ineligibility and the disqualification of any results obtained by the athlete... on 21 December 2013."

Lapshin will be free to compete from Sept. 22 this year. The next edition of the Winter Olympics are scheduled for February 2022 in Beijing.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Philippa Fletcher)