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Blonska stripped of heptathlon silver for doping

Blonska stripped of heptathlon silver for doping

Lyudmila Blonska was stripped of her Olympic heptathlon silver medal Friday, the highest profile athlete kicked out of the Beijing Games so far for doping.
The International Olympic Committee said Blonska tested positive for the steroid methyltestosterone after finishing second in the heptathlon final last Saturday behind fellow Ukrainian Nataliia Dobrynska.
She was temporarily suspended by the IOC on Thursday, and her medal was officially removed Friday by the IOC executive board.
Blonska, who blamed her coach and husband for the positive test, was also dropped from Friday's long jump final after finishing third in qualifying earlier in the week.
The IOC asked the International Association of Athletics Federations to adjust the heptathlon results and consider further sanctions against Blonska.
The Ukrainian Olympic committee was ordered to return Blonska's medal "as soon as possible."
American Hyleas Fountain is in line to take the silver, with Russia's Tatiana Chernova moving from fourth to bronze.
The IOC also reserved the right to take sanctions against Blonska's coach and husband, Sergei Blonsky.
The 30-year-old Blonska faces a lifetime ban from the IAAF for a second doping offense. She was suspended from 2003-05 for use of the steroid stanozolol.
Blonska is the biggest name among the five athletes who have tested positive so far at the games, and second to be stripped of a medal. Previously disqualified were Greek hurdler Fani Halkia, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno and Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do. Kim was stripped of silver and bronze medals.
The IOC has carried out more than 4,600 doping tests so far, and the figure is expected to surpass 5,000 by the close of the games on Sunday night.
Blonska's backup "B" sample came back positive on Thursday.
The IOC said she expressed "shock" at the results and couldn't understand how the banned substance wound up in her system. She apologized at a disciplinary hearing and said she felt "ashamed."
However, Blonska pointed the blame at her husband, who has served as her coach for five years.
"She expressed that she trusted him to take care of her training and diet," the IOC said. "She indicated that they had expressly agreed that she would not take any prohibited substances. However, her relationship with her husband was currently conflictual."
Ukrainian team officials also apologized for Blonska's positive test but suggested it was an "extraordinary case" because of her husband's role as coach.
The IOC said Ukrainian officials should investigate the coach's behavior and report back to the committee. A hearing on the case is scheduled to be held in Ukraine next Friday.
The IOC said it could examine Sergei Blonsky's case if he applies for accreditation for future Olympics.


Updated : 2021-03-03 11:21 GMT+08:00