Adams Expected Life Ban For Ostapchuk

Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams is disappointed to learn that her former rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus has received a doping ban of just four years and not a life ban, Valerie’s manager said.

Ostapchuk received a retrospective ban that ends on August 14, 2016, for testing positive for the banned steroid Metenolone after she beat Valerie for gold at the London Games in 2012. Ostapchuk was stripped of the London Olympics and 2005 World Championships gold medals.

Test samples provided by Ostapchuk at the 2005 World Athletics Championships also found traces of the anabolic steroids, Formestane and 4-hydroxytestosterone. Adams’ manager Nick Cowan said they believe the Belarusian should have been given a life ban for a second offence. The ban imposed on the Belarusian will virtually rule her out of the 2016 Olympics with the suspension coming to an end during the athletics competition in Rio.

Cowan told Radio New Zealand that our understanding is that Ostapchuk has tested positive twice for drugs and added you would normally expect that you could face a life ban. Cowan also remarked we to be honest were expecting for it to be a bit heftier than four years but it is what it is. Adams’ manager also remarked they were not made aware of the process or reasoning and learnt about the ban after the name of Ostapchuk appeared on the latest list of banned athletes issued by the world governing body International Association of Athletics Federations.

Athletics New Zealand expressed their surprise at the length of the ban imposed on Ostapchuk and said they would need to review the decision. In a statement, chairperson Annette Purvis said whilst Athletics New Zealand is not comfortable with a ban of only four years for two doping breaches, we need to understand the full decision and all aspects that relate to the decision and the four year ban. Purvis added our staff have been in contact with Valerie and her management, and remain in close communication with them on this issue. The ANZ chairperson said Athletics New Zealand expects to offer further comment once the sanction had been examined in more detail.

Valerie Kasanita Adams is a four-time World champion, three-time World Indoor champion, and a two-time Olympic and Commonwealth champion. Valerie recently won her third world indoor championship gold medal after coming back from ankle and knee surgery. The 29-year-old extended her winning sequence to 44 consecutive victories with a winning throw of 20.67m. She won the world indoor crown in Valencia in 2008 and Istanbul in 2012 and was the silver medalist in Doha in 2010. The four-time world outdoor champion produced her best effort of 20.67m at the world indoor athletics championships at the ERGO Arena in Sopot, Poland to complete one of the most consistent series of her glittering career.

Ostapchuk can compete again after completing her ban and reinstatement requirements prescribed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which include the return of medals, repayment of any prize money, and passing four drug tests.

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