Lysenko suspended for positive drug test

Tatyana Lysenko could face a lengthy ban by the IAAF after testing positive for drugs.
Tatyana Lysenko could face a lengthy ban by the IAAF after testing positive for drugs.

PARIS • Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko, the reigning Olympic champion and two-time world gold medallist, has been provisionally suspended for doping, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced.

Lysenko, now known under her married name of Tatyana Beloborodova, tested positive after re-testing of samples taken at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.

The IAAF, however, specified neither the date of the positive test nor for what banned substance she tested positive.

The news comes as a further blow to Russian athletics, with the country's federation sidelined from international competition since November over state-sponsored doping and widespread corruption.

Russia is now scrambling to get its house in order before an IAAF Council meeting in May which will likely decide whether its athletes will be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics.

Lysenko could face a lengthy ban this time. The 32-year-old has already served a two-year ban after testing positive for a hormone blocker in 2007, shortly after she won the 2006 European gold.

She was awarded world silver in 2005 after team-mate Olga Kuzenkova tested positive.

The IAAF has since 2005 stored blood samples taken for re-testing as anti-doping analysis techniques improve.

World athletics' governing body has also raised the statute of limitations from eight to 10 years, a move made within the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

In August last year, the IAAF announced it was taking action against 28 athletes, many suspected of being Russian, whose re-tested samples from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships had come back positive.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2016, with the headline 'Lysenko suspended for positive drug test'. Print Edition | Subscribe