Russia’s 4x400m women’s relay team was stripped of its London 2012 silver medal yesterday after the IOC named one of its athletes as a doping cheat.
Using new technology the International Olympic Committee is retesting hundreds of stored samples from the 2012 and Beijing 2008 Games as part of its drive to clean up the drug-tainted Olympics.
The latest to be snared is Antonina Krivoshapka, a 400m runner who was part of the Russian team that came second in the relay in London. The IOC said the 29-year-old tested positive for the banned steroid turinabol and it means that the whole Russian 4x400m women’s team is disqualified.
The United States won the relay with Jamaica third and Ukraine fourth. The Russian men’s 4x400m relay team that won bronze in Beijing was similarly stripped of its medal because of doping.
Russian athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics last year because of state-sponsored doping and a second Russian, discus-thrower Vera Ganeeva, 28, was also disqualified yesterday after finishing 23rd in London. She too tested positive for turinabol.
Turkish boxer Adem Kilicci, 30, was also disqualified after ranking fifth in London after he too was found to have taken turinabol, the IOC said.
Last week Usain Bolt lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals when the IOC stripped Jamaica of their 4x100m relay win at the 2008 Games after teammate Nesta Carter was caught doping.
Anti-doping agency happy
with Kenyan progress
Kenya is making progress in its efforts towards tackling doping by its athletes, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) official said in Nairobi yesterday.
“Kenya has done commendably well in the fight against doping and putting structures to help in this fight. We are happy with the legislative and legal steps put in place to tackle doping,” Rodney Swigelaar, director of WADA’s Africa office, told reporters.
Swigelaar is in Kenya with a delegation from WADA and the Norwegian and South African anti-doping agencies to monitor the progress made so far and sign agreements with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK). The agreement will ensure it gets technical assistance from the Norwegian and South African bodies.
Kenya’s middle and long distance excellence has been marred by doping cases involving its elite athletes. Officials estimate the number of positive dope cases at between 49 and 52 in the four years alone. WADA threatened the East African nation with sanctions last year, which included barring them from the Rio Olympic Games.
The Kenyan government subsequently enacted legislation that made doping in sports criminal in the country, carrying with it a fine of up to 3mn Kenyan shillings and three years in jail for those found to have violated doping rules.
Korea launches support team for 2018 athletes
South Korea yesterday launched a support team aimed at helping the home nation finish in the top four at the 2018 Winter Olympics and announced it had increased a special grant to help athletes prepare for the Games to almost $30mn.
The alpine town of Pyeongchang will host Asia’s first Winter Games outside Japan in almost exactly a year’s time. South Korea will send more than 130 athletes to participate in seven sports with the aim of winning 20 medals.
The support team would comprise representatives from the ministry, the 2018 organising committee (POCOG), national winter sports bodies as well as the Korean Sport and Olympic committee, the ministry said in a statement.
“We will provide assistance centred around on-site support so that our athletes can maximise the advantages as the host nation team to achieve success,” vice sports minister Yu Dong-hun said in the statement.
South Korea provided a special grant of 27.4bn won last year to help athletes prepare and train for the Games and this had been raised to 33.7bn won ($29.21mn) for 2017, it added. A traditional powerhouse in short track speed skating, South Korea also has high hopes in skeleton and bobsleigh for the upcoming Games. At the last Winter Games in Sochi, Korea finished with just three golds and in 13th place. That came after they were fifth in Vancouver with six gold medals. The Pyeongchang Olympics are scheduled for February 9-25 next year.
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