Russia bans 4 athletes for doping

Getty Images: Russian athlete Irina Maracheva, right, has been served a two-year ban for doping.

The Russian Olympic Committee has announced the doping bans of four of its athletes, including European 800m silver medallist Irina Maracheva. 

Maracheva, whose 2012 European Championships placing in the 800m was upgraded to silver after fellow Russian athlete Yelena Arzhakova was banned for doping, has been handed a two-year ban. Race-walker Anna Lukyanova, a former World Junior Championships silver medallist, has also received a two-year ban, while middle-distance runners Maria Nikolaeva and Elena Nikulina have been banned for four years.

These bans mark the Russian Olympic Committee's first sanctions on athletes since news of the doping scandal broke last summer.

No details have been provided regarding the start dates of the bans, which results will be cancelled or what type of doping violation was committed.