Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko was stripped of her gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Tuesday, the latest athlete sanctioned after being caught in the retesting of stored doping samples.
Lysenko tested positive for the steroid turinabol and has been retroactively disqualified from the games, the International Olympic Committee said.
The Russian Olympic Committee was ordered to secure the return of her gold medal “as soon as possible.”
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The gold now stands to go to second-place finisher Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland. It would be the second Olympic gold for Wlodarczyk, who won the hammer throw at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.
The IOC asked track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, to modify the 2012 results and consider any further action against Lysenko, who retired last year. She could still face a lifetime ban for a second offense, as she was banned from 2007-09 for another doping violation.
The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow them to be retested when new methods become available.
The IOC recorded a total of 98 positive cases in retests of samples from the London Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games. The new tests are capable of detecting traces of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than days.
Lysenko, the world champion in 2011 and 2013, won the Olympic gold with a throw of 78.18 meters, followed by Wlodarczyk with 77.60. Germany’s Betty Heidler could now move up from bronze to silver, with China’s Zhang Wenxiu going from fourth place to bronze.
In a seven-page decision , a three-man IOC disciplinary commission said Lysenko originally contested the positive test on grounds that “a suspension she had served in the past was already unjustified.”
Lysenko told the IOC she was caring for a young child and had no time to defend herself. She did not attend the opening and testing of her backup “B” sample.
Lysenko later wrote to the IOC that she “had always been training conscientiously and did not understand why the reanalysis had shown positive results.” She did not attend a disciplinary hearing in July.
The IOC said Lysenko did not “bring forward any relevant arguments or evidence” to rebut the positive test and made no attempt to explain the source of turinabol, which the panel said is “directly used as a performance-enhancing substance.”