Russia won two relay medals in Hochfilzen in 2017.

Austrian prosecutors announced on Thursday that members of Russia’s biathlon team are being investigated over alleged doping offences dating back to the World Championships in 2017 in the Austrian town of Hochfilzen.

Preliminary proceedings have been launched against five biathletes for “serious deception in connection with doping” and against five support staff for “use of forbidden substances or methods for the purpose of doping”, anti-corruption prosecutors confirmed in a statement.

The Russian Biathlon Federation said Austrian police had visited members of the team — currently in Hochfilzen again for a stage of the biathlon World Cup — on Wednesday and had questioned several “Russian athletes and specialists”.

“The national team will continue its participation in the World Cup,” the federation added in a statement.

Some of the athletes concerned took to Instagram to react to the accusations.

Biathlete Evgeniy Garanichev, a bronze medallist at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, said: “I am on the list of people suspected of breaking anti-doping rules!! Another scandal!!! We are clean…”

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