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Russian London 2012 gold medallist Mariya Savinova banned for doping

Russian London 2012 gold medallist Mariya Savinova has been stripped of her London 2012 gold title and banned till 2019 after she was found guilty of doping.

Mariya Savinova results from July 2010 to August 2013 has been made invalid but she has 45 days to appeal against the decision. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said that 31-year-old Savinova was “found to have been engaged in using doping” from July 2010 until August 2013.

Savinova has also lost her 800m silver from the 2013 Worlds and her four-year suspension will be backdated to 2015. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said: ” A four-year period of ineligibility, beginning on 24 August 2015, has been imposed and all results achieved between 26 July 2010 and 19 August 2013, are disqualified and any prizes, medals, prize and appearance money forfeited.”

In 2014, Savinova was caught in an undercover footage which was filmed by Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, while she was injecting testosterone and taking the banned steroid oxandrolone. The footage helped spark a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Russia, and led to Savinova’s blood samples being re-examined.

The case against Savinova was also brought by the IAAF from her biological passport, which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has used to make its decision. CAS said: “On the basis of clear evidence, including the evidence derived from her biological passport (ABP), Mariya Savinova is found to have been engaged in using doping from 26 July 2010 (the eve of the European Championship in Barcelona) through to 19 August 2013 (the day after the World Championship in Moscow).”

The Russian track team was suspended from all international competitions in November 2015 and missed last year’s Olympics, as a result of more evidence of drug use.

In the footage filmed by Stepanova, Savinova said doping was the only way to succeed in Russian sport.
“What should we do? How should it go differently? That is our system and in Russia that only works only with pharma,” she said, according to a transcript produced by WADA. “Oxandrolone is very quickly out of my body out again. It takes less than 20 days.”

If the International Olympic Committee decides to reallocate the medals from Savinova, Semenya will add that gold medal to the one she won last year in Rio de Janeiro.

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