Doping marathon runner stripped of gold medal, banned from competition

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Lithuanian marathon runner Zivile Balciunaite has been stripped of her European Athletics Championship gold medal and will be banned from competition for two years following a testosterone doping scandal.

The Lithuanian Athletic Federation (LAF) handed down the verdict after an investigation into whether Balciunaite had been doping when she won the women’s marathon in Barcelona last year.

The ban means she will miss the 2012 London Olympic Games and will not compete in the European Athletics Championship.

“The LAF disciplinary board has completed a study to examine all the facts and make the right decision for Balciunaite’s suspicion of doping,” LAF president Eimantas Skrabulis said at the press conference about the ban.

“The LAF did not want to penalize innocent athletes, which is why the investigation took about four months. Extensive consultations with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and World Anti-Doping Agency representatives. It was one of the toughest cases in Lithuania’s history of doping,” Skrabulis said.

The rulings of the LAF disciplinary board were that she violated IAAF anti-doping rules and will be disqualified for two years. She forfeits her gold medal.

Balciunaite has the right to appeal the decision to the sports arbitration court in Switzerland.

A stern warning was given to her coach, also.

Balciunaite’s ban will be backdated and begin counting from the last six days in September, when she was officially suspended.

Balciunaite was found after the winning race to have heightened levels of testosterone in her blood. 

Balciunaite has the right to appeal the decision to the sports arbitration court in Switzerland.

A stern warning was given to her coach, also.

Balciunaite’s ban will be backdated and begin counting from the last six days in September, when she was officially suspended.

Balciunaite was found after the winning race to have heightened levels of testosterone in her blood.

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