Former 800m world champion Marina Arzamasova handed four-year doping ban

Marina Arzamasova, who won the 800 meters at the 2015 worlds in Beijing, had been provisionally suspended after testing positive in 2019.

Agence France-Presse December 06, 2020 09:45:01 IST
Former 800m world champion Marina Arzamasova handed four-year doping ban

File image of Belarus' Marina Arzamasova. AP

Former world champion Marina Arzamasova of Belarus received a four-year ban for doping after her defense that she had taken contaminated over-the-counter supplements was rejected.

The 32-year-old Arzamasova, who won the 800 meters at the 2015 worlds in Beijing, had been provisionally suspended after testing positive in 2019.

The four-year ban dates to the initial suspension and ends on July 28, 2023, track and field's Athletics Integrity Unit said in its decision released Friday.

Arzamasova was the 2014 European champion and placed seventh at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

She tested positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033, better known as ligandrol. It is reportedly used in supplements by body builders to build muscle mass with fewer side effects than steroids.

The runner argued that she had taken over-the-counter supplements which she said must have been contaminated with the prohibited substance.

But the AIU in its decision said Arzamasova’s defense “lacks credibility” because she bought the supplement from Russia “through third-party intermediaries” even though it was available in Minsk.

Arzamasova has the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In a separate case released Friday, Brazilian discus thrower Andressa de Morais received a 16-month ban for using a prohibited substance and was stripped of the silver medal she won at the Pan American Games in August 2019.

However, the AIU found that De Morais' level of fault “is within the lower region of the significant/considerable degree.” Since the ban dates back to the provisional suspension, it ended Saturday, just one day after the decision was released.

The 29-year-old De Morais argued that her prescriptions were likely contaminated while they were being prepared at her pharmacy in Brazil.

The AIU said it verified that the pharmacy had used the product in question on the day it also prepared De Morais' prescriptions, and that De Morais' violation “shall not be considered intentional.” Still, it said she should have known there was a “clear and obvious” risk.

The AIU said De Morais has accepted the sanction.

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