USA’s Montaño up for ’12 bronze off runner’s ban

Olympics

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Ekaterina Poistogova-Guliyev has been banned for two years and will be stripped of the silver medal won for Russia in the 2012 Olympics 800-meter final if she does not appeal, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Thursday.

If Poistogova-Guliyev is stripped of her silver, Kenyan Pamela Jelimo would be awarded the silver and American Alysia Montaño would be moved up to the bronze medal position.

In a lengthy Instagram post Wednesday, Montaño reacted to the idea of receiving an Olympic medal 12 years later, saying she “couldn’t let dopers win.”

“I moved forward with my family knowing this Olympic medal was mine,” Montaño wrote. “I laid it out there every time. I have no regrets, only that I wish I was supported in real time.”

The AIU said it was banning Poistogova-Guliyev, who switched her allegiance to Turkey, for two years from March 2023 for the use of a prohibited substance and disqualifying her results from July 17, 2012, until Oct. 20, 2014.

“Guliyev has 45 days [until May 13] to appeal. If that deadline elapses without an appeal, this decision becomes binding and the AIU will proceed with the next steps regarding Guliyev’s results at the London 2012 Olympic Games,” the AIU said.

Competing as Ekaterina Poistogova, she finished third in the 2012 Olympic final but was upgraded to silver when Russian winner Mariya Savinova was found guilty of doping offences.

If there is no appeal, the AIU will send a sanction memo to World Athletics to disqualify her results, after which it will inform the International Olympic Committee that the athletics body has modified the relevant results.

“The IOC will determine any reallocation of Olympic medals and any update of its database,” the AIU said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency had recommended that Poistogova-Guliyev be banned for life and have her London medal stripped in 2015 as the result of its investigations into state-sponsored systematic doping in Russian athletics.

She was eventually banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2017, but her results were voided back to October 2015, allowing her to keep her Olympic medal.

The women’s middle distance events at the London Olympics were heavily tainted by doping, with two other runners in the 800-meter final since having had their results voided: Savinova and sixth-place Russian Elena Arzhakova.

Poistogova-Guliyev is one of hundreds of athletes who have been sanctioned after the Operation LIMS investigation into Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory that uncovered widespread institutionalized doping.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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