London - Disgraced Russian cyclist Victoria Baranova said here Friday that she had taken testosterone ahead of the Olympics, and she had thought she was in the clear.
Baranova was thrown out of the Games this week after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug.
She was due to compete in the keirin event in track cycling Friday.
“At the chemist, I bought the tablets containing testosterone of my own accord,” she said.
“I don’t remember the exact name, but I think it was Andriol,” she added.
“Since I knew it was prohibited, I didn’t mention anything about it to my coach. I took one tablet,” Baranova said.
The very same day, Baranova was required to take a drugs test, and feared the worst. “I was scared and instantly regretted this course of action, but I didn’t tell anyone,” she said.
Baranova flew back to London Wednesday after being taken off the cycling team by her national federation.
“Right before leaving for the Olympic Games another doping sample was taken, and it was clean. I thought I got lucky and nothing would happen. I didn’t take this medicine any more and don’t intend to do it in the future either,” said Baranova, adding one of the tests she had given, in Belarus, was positive.
“I really regret that this happened,” she said.
Baranova, ranked No. 2, had trained under the supervision of her father, Alexei, in the run-up to the Games, separately from the Russian team.
She won the keirin in the European junior track championships in Portugal last month.
Baranova is the third drugs cheat to be caught during the Games after Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku tested positive for steroids and Uzbek gymnast Luiza Galiulina was found to have taken a drugs masking agent.
Additionally, the Olympic committee of St. Kitts and Nevis Sunday sent home sprinter Tameka Williams for taking a substance that they feared “would fall outside the accepted medical code”.
More than 100 athletes were prohibited from competing in London for doping offences that were uncovered in the six months leading up to the Games, the IOC announced Friday.