at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg – Russian ultramarathon athlete Natalia Volgina has officially been stripped of her 2013 Two Oceans Marathon title and received a two-year competition ban after she was found guilty of using the banned anabolic steroid Metenolone.
Volgina was the only athlete among 24 finishers that were tested by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) to yield a positive result, race organisers said in a statement on Thursday.
“Following an investigation, during which Volgina had the option to have her B-sample tested, she was officially found guilty by the All Russian Athletics Federation, in conjunction with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF),” it said in the statement.
Two Oceans Marathon chairman Lester Cameron confirmed that Volgina would lose both her title and the R250,000 prize money.
“We are disappointed that there are still athletes who believe that they can get away with doping, and we take these offences very seriously,” Cameron said.
“As race organisers, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our event and the sport as a whole.”
Volgina's disqualification meant that all runners behind her would move up a position.
Thabita Tsatsa of Zimbabwe had been named official winner of the 2013 ultramarathon, while American Camille Herron moved into 10th place.
“The organising team received the official outcome of Volgina's disciplinary procedure on December 3, 2013, and we are making the necessary arrangements to pay the top 10 ladies the balance of their revised prize money,” Cameron said. – Sapa