10 April, 2015

I could not resist the temptation

While researching for my recent Gatlin post I ended up in Kelly Sotherton’s twitter page and there I discovered this small gem. I could not resist the temptation to reproduce it here.

Kelly Sotherton an Olympic and World bronze medalist in heptathlon, as well as Commonwealth champion, is particularly vocal when it comes to doping matters. The best known case was that of the Beijing, 2008, Olympic games where Sotherton narrowly missed a medal. Lyudmila Blonska took second place after having served a two years ban in 2003 for failing a drugs test. Sotherton denounced Blonska, who came to Beijing with the best score among all the competitors, after the Ukrainian beat her to the silver medal in the world championships in 2007 year in Japan, where Sotherton came third. Dr Arne Ljungqvist (of the University of Umea, Sweden) was commenting:

Under current anti-doping rules, Blonska would have received a four year ban from 2003 until 2007 and then would have been barred from the following Olympic Games in 2008. However, when she tested positive there was a more lax regime and she received a two-year ban from athletics and no ban from the Olympic Games. Blonska may still be benefiting from stanozolol even though she took it five years ago. The benefits of steroids last for at least four years according to current scientific evidence. This could explain why Blonska had improved since coming back from her drug ban.

Blonska tested positive in Beijing, was stripped of her silver medal and was given a lifetime ban. (If a lifetime was OK for Blonska how come double-offender Gatlin got away with a tap on the hand?).

Kelly Sotherton, unfortunately, could not profit from this disqualification, in order to gain access to a medal. She was blocked from the third place by Tatyana Chernova. And now comes the explanation of the “cheating bitches” thing. A sample taken from Chernova at the 2009 World Championships tested positive for a banned steroid. As a consequence she was banned and her results annulled from 15 August 2009 to 14 August 2011. Had Chernova been caught earlier, Sotherton would have won that precious Beijing medal.

And just a few more words from Sotherton:

Blonska, in the time she was banned she had a baby, so she put her body through that and then came back and performed out of her skin. When you compete against people who have failed drugs tests, and then they carry on improving when they're supposed to be clean you ask yourself how can that be possible? I would support a four-year ban or a life ban (for testing positive rather than missing a test).

I totally agree that missing a test cannot be judged as severely as testing positive. Still Thanou was expelled from the 2008 Olympics for just that reason while our well-known two-time offender went on, in 2012, to add a bronze medal to his 2004 gold one.

No comments:

Post a Comment