Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Anti-doping authorities ban Olympic gold medalist and two other top athletes

Anti-doping authorities ban Olympic gold medalist and two other top athletes

The worldwide sports tribunal on Friday stripped Russian runner Mariya Savinova-Farnosova of the London Olympics 800 metres gold medal and banned her until 2019 for doping.

The 31-year-old's results from July 2010 and August 2013 have been annulled, meaning she also loses her 2011 world title, 2013 world silver medal and 2010 European gold. Yelena Arzhakova, who finished sixth, was banned for two years in 2013 for doping.

Savinova won the race in a world-leading time of 1:56.19, beating the South African favourite into second place.

Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya will have to wait almost two months before she knows if she has been upgraded to a double world and Olympic champion, with legal processes delaying what is a seemingly inevitable decision.

Semenya, who won the event at the Rio 2016 Olympics after being cleared to compete in 2010 following a gender test row, is set to be crowned as a double Olympic and world champion.

Mariya Savinova with teammate Ekaterina Poistogova in 2012. Poistogova is also under investigation
Anti-doping authorities ban Olympic gold medalist and two other top athletes

The footage helped spark a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation into Russian Federation, and led to Savinova-Farnosova's blood samples being reexamined. Yvonne Hak of the Netherlands is in line for the 2010 European title.

Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova secretly filmed Savinova appearing to admit taking the banned steroid oxandrolone.

She can appeal the CAS ruling.

Should the ruling go against the Russian whose country stands suspended from worldwide competition after being accused of a systematic State-backed doping programme, the athlete who was nicknamed "Kapsabet Express" could move further up the podium to silver. How should it go differently? "Oxandrolone is very quickly out of my body out again".

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