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Russian race-walker Morozov gets life ban for doping

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former world youth race-walking champion Sergey Morozov has been given a life ban for breaking anti-doping regulations, the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) said on Tuesday.

Morozov, 24, who won the 2005 world youth title in the 10,000 meters race walk, has shown an "abnormal hemoglobin profile in his biological passport", the VFLA said on its website (rusathletics.com).

It was his second doping offence.

The Russian was considered a medal contender for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after setting a 20-km world record time of one hour, 16:43 minutes at the national championships earlier that year.

But his time was never ratified by the world's governing body IAAF because of a lack of doping control at the event.

Morozov, who also won the 2007 European junior title, could not compete in Beijing because he was handed a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO in 2008.

He returned to competition in 2010 and competed for Russia at the 2011 world championships, finishing 12th in the 20-km.

It was the latest in a series of doping offences by Russian athletes in less than two weeks.

On Friday, the VFLA banned European junior race-walking champion Tatyana Mineyeva for two years after she failed a drugs test, while the IAAF placed Olympic 2004 hammer champion Olga Kuzenkova under investigation after she also tested positive.

Last week, 2012 Olympic discus silver medalist Darya Pishchalnikova and Russian hammer champion Kirill Ikonnikov, who finished fifth at the London Games, were temporarily suspended by the IAAF for failing drugs tests.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on December 5 stripped shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova of her bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Games.

Krivelyova, 43 and long retired from the sport, tested positive for anabolic steroids after her samples from eight years ago were re-tested.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov, editing by Justin Palmer)

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