ATHLETICS

Hammered: Russian Olympic champion suspended over doping

Hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko faces a lengthy ban in another blow to the country’s athletics federation – sidelined from international competition since November over state-sponsored doping and widespread corruption

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 April, 2016, 12:23am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 April, 2016, 12:28am

Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko, the reigning Olympic champion and two-time former world gold medallist, has been provisionally suspended for doping, the IAAF said on Tuesday.

Lysenko, now known under her married name of Tatyana Beloborodova, tested positive after retesting of samples taken at the 2005 world championships in Helsinki, Russian media reported.

For Lysenko, a lengthy ban could await. The 32-year-old has already served a two-year ban after testing positive for a hormone blocker in 2007

The IAAF, however, specified neither the date of the positive test nor for what banned substance the hammer thrower tested positive.

The news comes as a further blow to Russian athletics, with the country’s federation sidelined from international competition since November over state-sponsored doping and widespread corruption.

Russia is now scrambling to get its house in order before an IAAF council meeting in May which will likely decide whether their athletes will be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympic Games in August.

For Lysenko, a lengthy ban could be awaiting, the 32-year-old having already served a two-year ban after testing positive for a hormone blocker in 2007, shortly after she had won the 2006 European gold, having bagged a silver at the Helsinki worlds the previous year.

She was awarded world silver in 2005 after teammate Olga Kuzenkova tested positive.

Lysenko missed the 2007 worlds in Osaka and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing because of her first suspension.

The IAAF has since 2005 stored samples taken for retesting as analysis techniques improve. The world athletics’ governing body has also raised the statute of limitations from eight to 10 years, a move made within the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.