The 2012 Olympic gold and 2008 Olympic bronze high jump medallist was reported to be among 14 Russians to have tested positive after Beijing samples were reanalysed

Russia’s Anna Chicherova has been provisionally suspended, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed.

The provisional suspension comes after reports in May that the 2012 Olympic gold and 2008 Olympic bronze high jump medallist was among 14 Russian athletes to have tested positive after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) retested 454 selected doping samples from the Beijing Games. When announcing the reanalysis, the IOC stated that as a result, up to 31 athletes from six sports could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Chicherova was later quoted by the BBC as saying: “It’s the most complete shock. I can’t explain how it could have happened. I was always sure what supplements and medicines I was using.”

While highlighting that it is an IOC case, the IAAF confirmed to AW that Chicherova has been provisionally suspended and on Friday (July 1) the Russian high jumper was quoted by Russian news agency TASS as saying: “A letter has just come: the IAAF has suspended me starting today from all competitions for the time of the probe into the matter.”

The TASS report continued to state in part: “The doping sample B-1 from the Beijing Olympics was opened on June 8. The results of opening sample B-2 are not yet known.”

As well as her 2012 Olympic gold and 2008 Olympic bronze, Chicherova won the 2011 world title and has also claimed a further four outdoor world medals.

The 33-year-old competed at the Russian Championships on June 23, winning the high jump competition with a clearance of 1.98m.

The IAAF upheld the suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) as an IAAF Member at an IAAF Council meeting in Vienna on June 17.

The suspension means that athletes remain banned from competing for Russia in international events, although a rule amendment left an opportunity for Russians to apply to compete at the Rio Olympic Games and other international competitions as “neutral” athletes.

On Friday, the IAAF announced that whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova is now eligible to compete internationally as an independent neutral athlete.