Lidiya Grigoryeva, the 2007 Boston Marathon champion, is facing doping allegations after the world governing body of athletics has decided to pursue a case against her.

According to an IAAF spokesman, the sanction of Grigoryeva is about to be concluded and will be published accordingly. In a statement, Boston Athletic Association executive director Tom Grilk remarked we await the findings as the current investigation continues. Grilk added the Boston Athletic Association has pushed for many years for increased testing in and out of competition and harsh sanctions against those who test positive for doping and that we cooperate with and rely on the IAAF and WADA that conduct the testing and impose sanctions.

In a statement, IAAF spokesman Chris Turner said there was a huge influx in 2009 of suspicious profiles coming through. Turner also said 8-18 months from investigation to sanction on average happened for blood passport cases. The IAAF spokesman also remarked there was a need to prioritize, and in particular to expedite those cases which involved potential medal winners ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games and also commented that no cases were concealed or suppressed, the IAAF simply tackled them in order of importance.

An internal IAAF note named 10 athletes — middle distance runners, race walkers, and marathoners — who would be eligible for “rapid and discreet” treatment. Out of them, six were banned for two years and most of them received the bans after the 2012 London Olympic Games while four others named in the 2011 note have not been banned and this list includes the name of Lidiya Grigoryeva.

A few days back, judges of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) issued lifetime bans to former Russian walking coach Alexei Melnikov, former Russia athletics Chief Valentin Balakhnichev, and the son of former world body president Lamine Diack over the blackmailing of athletes who failed doping tests.

Recently, evidence emerged that the IAAF was aware of the massive doping problem in Russia. Internal documents obtained by the Associated Press revealed the governing body of athletics knew of the doping issue as far back as 2009. Correspondence revealed the IAAF feared that Russian athletes could end up killing themselves due to their extensive use of blood transfusions and Erythropoietin, the blood-boosting drug. In a hand-written dated October 14, 2009 to Valentin Balakhnichev, the then Russian athletics president, Pierre Weiss, then the IAAF general secretary, wrote this matter of the Russian athletes’ blood levels is now so serious and is not getting any better [in fact possibly getting worse] that immediate and drastic action is needed. Weiss also remarked not only are these athletes cheating their fellow competitors but at these levels are putting their health and even their own lives in very serious danger.

Dick Pound, founding president of WADA, commenting on the issue said documents indicated concerned officials of the world governing body of athletics not disclosing doping bans surprised him. Pound added it is clear that there were deals and there didn’t seem to be any political will to take on Russia.

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