Darya Pishchalnikova stripped of Olympic silver, banned for 10 years
Olympic discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova was stripped of her silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday and received a 10-year ban from competing after testing positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, according to a report from The Associated Press.
It was reported in November 2012 that the 27-year-old Russian tested positive for the drug during a reanalysis last May by the World Anti-Doping, months after initially passing the test. The Russian track and field federation confirmed that Pischchalnikova, who previously served a two-year ban from 2007-09, will be barred from competition for the next 10 years and be stripped of her silver medal.
Subsequently, Li Yanfeng of China will now receive the silver from the Olympics last summer and Yarelys Barrios of Cuba will get the bronze.
Federation president Valentin Balakhnichev called the news a “sad situation” but one that cannot be appealed, according to the report:
“It’s a sad situation. It’s horrible when such things happen to our athletes. I can support an athlete but when all proves her guilty there is nothing to challenge. In this situation, it’s practically a criminal violation and we cannot appeal to change the situation.”
In a separate Reuters report on Tuesday, Balakhnichev applauded the efforts of his agency and the frequency of drug tests done each year in Russia, and hinted at more suspensions that could be on the way:
“We do more drugs tests than any other country in the world. Some nations only do 500 tests a year. We did 3,500 tests last year alone and this year we plan to do over 4,000 tests in and out of competition, so don’t be surprised if you hear about a few more suspensions coming our way.”