Russia bans weightlifters, cyclists and dancer for doping offenses

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Two Russian weightlifters, two professional cyclists and a sport dancer have been banned for doping, the country's anti-doping agency said Thursday.

Both cyclists race for Itera-Katusha, the junior team of Russian world tour team Katusha, which was briefly denied a license in 2012 over repeated doping violations but regained it on appeal.

The cyclists are Ivan Lutsenko and Andrei Lukonin, who represented Itera-Katusha in European tour events this season. Lutsenko also won the silver medal at this year's Russian national under-23 championships.

The weightlifters include Russian junior silver medalist Azamat Dzhioev, who received a four-year ban. He was previously banned from 2012 until last year for another doping offense.

Also suspended is Russian Cup bronze medal-winning weightlifter Sergei Zhuromsky, who received a four-year ban, and sport dancer Andrei Gusev, banned for a year.

The agency did not say what doping substances were involved in any of the cases.

The Russian anti-doping agency is itself suspended from carrying out most work as it faces accusations of covering up failed drug tests for leading Russian athletes.

Agency spokeswoman Natalya Koshel told the AP that Thursday's cases were not blocked by the agency's suspension since processing was already under way when the suspension was handed down.