Grabarz in line for Olympic silver as 12 Russians get doping bans

| |

Britain’s Robbie Grabarz could be upgraded to Olympic silver after London 2012 high jump winner Ivan Ukhov was one of 12 Russian athletes banned from competing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Ukhov’s ban started on 1st February with he, along with fellow high jumper Svetlana Shkolina being banned for four years and stripped of their medals from London.

This comes after the McLaren report uncovered evidence of a Russian state-sponsored doping programme, giving the London Olympics the unwanted reputation as the ‘dirtiest Olympics ever‘.

The total number of athletes caught doping from the London games has reached 120, ahead of Beijing in 2008 which has uncovered 86.

Embed from Getty Images

Grabarz is in line for silver, having finished third behind Ukhov and Erik Kynard for a bronze that was shared with Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Canada’s Derek Drouin.

Hammer throwers Gulfiya Agafonova-Khanafeeva and Tatyana Lysenko have received the largest punishments out of the 12, banned for eight years from 6th January 2017 and 2nd July 2016.

Also among the 12 is Olympic 4x400m medallist Tatyana Firova, who also previously said that she believes athletes should be allowed to use banned substances.

Tatyana Firova at the 2010 European Championships, where she won two gold medals. Photo: Alba Rincon via Flickr
Banned 4x400m medallist Tatyana Firova at the 2010 European Championships. Photo: Alba Rincon via Flickr

Firova was handed a four year ban on 9th June 2016, eliminating her medal achievements from the Beijing and London Olympics, as well as the Moscow 2013 World Championships.

The athletes have 21 days to appeal their ban.

Cas has been acting for the IAAF in banning the athletes, with the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) unable to investigate due to a ban.

Cas stated that the banned athletes “participated in and/or benefited from anabolic steroid doping” before the London Olympics and the 2013 worlds in Moscow.

The full list of athletes is as follows:

  • Tatyana Firova (400m) – four-year ban from 9 June 2016
  • Svetlana Shkolina (high jump) – four-year ban from 1 February 2019
  • Ivan Ukhov (high jump) – four-year ban from 1 February 2019
  • Lyukman Adams (triple jump) – four-year ban from 31 January 2019
  • Anna Bulgakova (hammer throw) – four-year ban from 29 March 2017
  • Gulfiya Agafonova-Khanafeeva (hammer throw) – eight-year ban from 6 January 2017
  • Tatyana Lysenko Beloborodva (hammer throw) – eight-year ban from 2 July 2016
  • Ivan Yushkov (shot put) – four-year ban from 2 July 2016
  • Mariya Bespalova (hammer throw) – already suspended since 26 October 2015
  • Vera Ganeeva (discus) – two-year ban from 2 July 2018
  • Yekaterina Galitskaia (100m hurdles) – four-year ban from 1 February 2019
  • Yuliya Kondakova (100m hurdles) – four-year ban from 1 February 2019