Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Update on potential medals for Rob Heffernan and Olive Loughnane

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update on potential medals for Rob Heffernan and Olive Loughnane

As many of you will have read, five of the top Russian race walkers have been found guilty of doping on Tuesday of this week. Some of the media sources have been talking about Rob Heffernan getting a Bronze Olympic medal and of Olive Loughnane being upgraded to Gold in the world championship.

Just to clarify, this is the current situation.....

On Tuesday, RUSADA...the Russian Doping Agency issued this press release -
Russian Anti-Doping Agency "RUSADA" based on the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee of the Anti-Doping decided disqualified for doping rule violation, as expressed in the use of prohibited substances and (or) a prohibited method, the following athletes:

Kaniskina Olga for three years and two months from 15.10.2012, with the cancellation of the results for the period: July 15, 2009 - September 16, 2009, 30 July 2011 - 08 November 2011.

Sergei Kirdyapkin for three years and two months from 15.10.2012, with the cancellation of the results of the July 20, 2009 - September 20, 2009, June 29, 2010 - August 29, 2010 December 17, 2011 - June 11, 2012.

Bakulin Sergei three years and two months from 24.12.2012 to the cancellation of the results for the period: January 25, 2011 - March 25, 2011, June 16, 2011 - August 16, 2011, April 11, 2012 - June 11, 2012.

Borchin Valery eight years from 15.10.2012, with the cancellation of the results for the period: July 14, 2009 - September 15, 2009, June 16, 2011 - September 27, 2011, April 11, 2012 - September 3, 2012.

Kanaikina Vladimir life from 17.12.2012 to the cancellation of results for the period January 25, 2011 - March 25, 2011, June 16, 2011 - September 27, 2011.

In the World Championships in Berlin (15-23 Aug 2009), Olga Kaniskina finished in front of Olive Loughnane in the womens 20k walk. The Russian authorities have said that result is cancelled so it would seem once the IAAF give the nod, Olive should get her Gold medal.

Listen to Olive's reaction on this interview on NewsTalk...

For Rob Heffernan, the case is not so clear cut. Sergei Kirdyapkin won the Gold medal in the 50k walk at the London Olympics in August 2012. As you can see in the RUSADA statement above, they say that only results up to June 2012 will be annulled. In other words, they are cherry picking the ban dates so that Russian athletes can keep their Olympic medals. It should really be a simple clear cut case. The person was doping...their results are wiped clean. In this case however, we're getting into the murky world of international athletics and politics and it's likely to take some time for this to be resolved.

In a response to this farce, Athletics Australia issued the following statement..."It seems extraordinary to us that as a result of doping infractions Sergey Kirdyapkin can be ineligible for periods immediately before and after the London Olympics but not so during it. We will be asking the IAAF to conduct a full investigation into the validity of Kirdyapkin's participation in the 50km walk in London where he defeated silver medallist Jared Tallent by less than a minute. The full circumstances of his pre-Games doping offence and subsequent imposition of penalty need to be fully disclosed." 

Another important ban is that of  Sergei Bakulin. He finished 3rd in the 50k walk in the 2010 Wold Championships in Barcelona (30th July 2010). Again, the Russian authorities have annulled the results in 2009 and 2011 and left the 2010 World Championship count.

In short, expect Olive Loughnane to get her medal pretty quickly. The issue about the other two medals that Rob Heffernan should have got is likely to drag on for a while.

a) IAAF statement
b) Irish Times article
c) Irish Examiner article

...and a final stat... IAAF figures show of 37 elite athletes who have been sanctioned for biological passport failures 62% (23) are Russian

Update...23rd Jan 2015... "Russian press are reporting that the reason the doping cases involving walkers took over 2 years to be processed is that the Russian authorities were delaying the cases until the new WADA code was introduced in 2015 which allows selective removal of results in bio passport cases. If cases were concluded earlier Olympic medals would be automatically forfeit. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this not like the lance Armstrong story, Usada banned him and then had his Olympic medals taken back, it's has to be the same with the Russian, it sounds very clear cut really......