Russian Skier Tchepalova Banned for Doping

Russia's Julija Tchepalova winner of the women's cross country 15 kilometers classic World Cup ski race in Davos Switzerland Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2000.
AP/Arno Balzarini, Keystone
The International Ski Federation has issued a two-year doping ban to Russia's triple-Olympic gold medallist Julija Tchepalova.

FIS says the cross-country skier tested positive for the endurance-boosting drug EPO in January, and that the 33-year-old Russian is banned until August 2011.

Sarah Fussek of the FIS anti-doping administration said Thursday that Tchepalova's teammate Natalia Matveeva also was banned for EPO. Matveeva is out until March 2011.

Tchepalova won Olympic gold in the 30-kilometer freestyle in 1998, the individual sprint in 2002, and with the Russian relay team in 2006.

She retired in August after her positive EPO test was announced.

A FIS statement said Tchepalova and Matveeva have three weeks to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.