Mariya Savinova, the Russian middle distance runner, has been stripped of her 2012 Olympic gold medal for doping.
Savinova was banned for a period of four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In its ruling, the CAS said the 31-year-old was found to have been engaged in using doping from July 2010 until August 2013.
Savinova was caught in undercover footage filmed in 2014 by Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova. Savinova appeared to admit to injecting Testosterone and taking the banned steroid Oxandrolone (Anavar). The video footage resulted in an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency into state-sponsored doping in Russia and also led to the blood samples of Savinova being re-examined. Since 2013, the Russian has not raced competitively and was preparing for a comeback when she was filmed by Stepanova. Savinova was later suspended during the investigation.
Savinova has had her results from July 2010 to August 2013 annulled but has 45 days to appeal against the decision. Savinova also beat Britain’s Jenny Meadows into bronze at the 2010 European Championships and Meadows could now have her medal upgraded.
With the suspension, Caster Semenya of South Africa is now in line to become a two-time champion. Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia, the original bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympic final, is also under investigation for doping. If Ekaterina is found guilty, Pamela Jelimo of Kenya would be in line for silver and the bronze medal would go to Alysia Montano of the United States. Elena Arzahkova, another Russian who originally finished sixth, was retrospectively disqualified in 2013 over blood doping.