Jan 30, 2014, 9:34 AM EST
Irina Starykh, the sixth-ranked women’s biathlete in the world this season, will likely not be representing Russia at the Sochi Olympics after saying she was told she failed a drug test Thursday.
“I have received a notification from the IBU [International Biathlon Union] in which it is stated that one of my tests gave a positive result,” Starykh wrote in a letter to the Russian Biathlon Union, which was translated by R-Sport. “This news was a major unexpected event for me. Believe me that I respectfully regret that this story is linked with my name. … I do not have the right or the desire to let down the girls and the whole team.”
Starykh, 26, did not admit to taking a banned substance in the Russian Biathlon Union article and said she wanted her “B” sample tested, according to the letter.
The news came one day after the International Biathlon Union said two Russian biathletes and one Lithuanian biathlete had tested positive but did not name the athletes or the substances.
Starykh had never finished better than 21st in a World Cup event before making two podiums over 13 races this season. She was the top-ranked Russian woman this season and seen as a medal threat in Sochi.
The last time a Winter Olympic medal was stripped came via a female Russian biathlete. In 2006, Russian Olga Pyleva lost a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
The world’s best men’s biathlete and the top American chimed in on Twitter on Wednesday, before Starykh was confirmed to have tested positive.
- Tori Bowie ‘going after medals’ after breakthrough season 0
- Yohan Blake details ‘dreams’ for 2015 0
- South Korean Olympic swim champ Park Tae-hwan fails drug test 1
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 2
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)