With the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London quickly approaching, nine track and field athletes were suspended Wednesday for doping. The suspensions were handed down by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the group that serves as the governing body for track and field competition.
The IAAF said six of the athletes were caught in biological passport tests while the other three athletes were sanctioned after retroactive testing from the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. Eight of the athletes received two-year suspensions, while the ninth was suspended for four years.
The athletes, according to the IAAF, were involved in "sophisticated doping," which included the use of human growth hormone and synthetic testosterone.
The most notable athlete to be suspended was Ukrainian runner Nataliya Tobias, who won the bronze medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The other suspended athletes were Ukraine's Antonina Yefremova, Bulgaria's Inna Eftimova, Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri, Irini Kokkinariou of Greece, Turkey's Meryem Erdogan, and Svetlana Klyuka, Nailiya Yulamanova and Yevgenina Zinurova, all of Russia.
Goumri, a marathon runner, received the four-year suspension.