Russia’s Antyukh stripped of London 2012 gold

Natalya Antyukh
Antyukh is the latest in a string of Russian athletes to have their London 2012 medals taken back by authorities

Russia’s Natalya Antyukh has been stripped of 400m hurdles gold from London 2012 on the basis of historical data from a Moscow testing laboratory.

Antyukh, now 41, is already serving a four-year ban after being named in a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) investigation into cheating by Russia.

American Lashinda Demus will be promoted to gold in her place.

All three gold medals won on the track by Russian athletes at London 2012 have now been rescinded on doping grounds.

Mariya Savinova and Yuliya Zaripova, the initial winners of 800m and 3000m steeplechase gold, have been disqualified.

Ivan Ukhov’s high jump title and Tatyana Lysenko’s hammer victory in the field have also been wiped from the record books.

The McLaren Report, commissioned by Wada and published in 2016, claimed that more than 1,000 Russian athletes across various sports had been involved in a state-sponsored programme of systematic doping.

It added that London 2012 was “corrupted on an unprecedented scale”.

Brett Clothier, the head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which disqualified Antyukh, said it was committed to “clean and fair competition and results, even if a decade later”.

“The AIU remains committed to investigating all cases of potential violations and securing the appropriate outcomes,” added Clothier.

“The integrity of the sport of athletics is our utmost priority and we are pleased, in this instance, that athletes who competed fairly at the highest level will ultimately be acknowledged as the rightful medal winners.”

Antyukh has struck a defiant tone on social media. Her last Instagram post on 18 August is a photo of her showing off her silver and bronze medals from the 2004 Olympics. Those medals remain unaffected by the latest AIU decision.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) can now promote Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer to the bronze medal position after Antyukh did not appeal against her punishment, with Czech Republic’s Zuzjana Hejnova in line for an upgrade to silver.

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