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Thursday, September 7
Kisseleva files damages suit after dope test

MOSCOW -- Russian Maria Kisseleva has filed a law suit against the distributor of a weight-loss product after she was stripped of the European duet synchronised swimming title last month after testing positive for ephedrine.

"Kisseleva has filed a claim in a Moscow court this week against Biosport company, the distributors of the weight-loss product Formula," Gennady Alyoshin, president of the Russian Swimming Federation, told Reuters on Thursday.

"Russian law requires all product makers and distributors to list all the ingredients on the side of the package which was not the case here," he said.

"She was given a supplement, which also contained ephedrine and caffeine, to control her weight by a team doctor, but these substances were not listed."

Kisseleva and her partner Olga Brusnikina, who had won two previous European duet titles, are considered as the leading contenders for a gold medal in Sydney.

Confirming that the team doctor had been fired, Alyoshin said: "Clearly, it's his job to make sure our athletes take only legal products."

Kisseleva has lodged the claim for the "moral damages" she suffered as a result of losing her medal and her subsequent one-month suspension, he said.

"She didn't do it just for the money but to clear her name and her moral image and to show that all her previous championship medals didn't come as a result of cheating but rather hard work and dedication," he said.

Biosport is the company which distributes the American-made product in Russia.

Kisseleva, 26, was given a one-month suspension by the European Swimming League instead of the usual three-month ban to enable her to compete at the Sydney Olympics.

"I think it was a fair sentence not only because it's probably her last chance to compete in the Olympics and possibly win a medal, but mainly because she had absolutely no knowledge she was taking illegal substances," said Alyoshin.
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