Bazarova, Larionov could face two-year ban
Russian pair suspended with tests pending
|Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov won the bronze medal last October at Skate America, which was their international senior-level debut. (Michelle Harvath)|
Larionov tried to explain what happened in an interview with Sport Den za Dnem: "WADA experts visited us at home and took blood samples two weeks before the start of the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. The drug test proved positive. I might have taken some headache pills, but nothing from the list of banned drugs."
Bazarova and Larionov are one of the hottest young pairs in the world. They finished second at the 2007 World Junior Championships behind Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, who just won the U.S. national title last month and are ranked No. 5 in the world right now.
The pair then made a bigger statement at Skate America, their international senior-level debut, the next week, where they won the bronze medal.
Bazarova and Larionov went back to the junior ranks and won the gold medal at the JGP Final in December. A month later, the couple had a disappointing showing at Russian nationals, where they finished sixth.
The Russians would have been the favorites at the 2008 World Junior Championships, to be held Feb. 25 - Mar. 2 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Now they will wait to see if their ban will be lifted, and their names cleared.