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Tuesday 26, Aug 2008

  Ukrainian heptathlete blames husband-coach for positive steroid test

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ukraine-steroids‘Tis the season of fingerpointing once again in the doping world. This fingerpointing incident, however, might interest many as matrimonial bliss is now at stake in this latest steroid-related scandal.

Lyudmila Blonska, one of the unfortunate few who got caught by the anti-doping officials in Beijing, points toward her husband (we bet you with her ring finger) Sergei Blonsky. Poor Blonsky, he did not utter a protest or else he would face cold nights on the floor.

Blonska was stripped of her silver medal on Friday because she tested positive for the steroid methyltestosterone. The test was conducted at 2am following her second-place victory in the heptathlon last Saturday. Fellow Ukrainian Nataliia Dobrynska won the gold.
The International Olympic Committee has reportedly asked Blonska to hand back the silver medal after her failed doping test.

According to an AP report, Blonska was temporarily suspended by the IOC on Thursday and her medal was officially removed Friday by the IOC executive board.  The IOC has also asked the International Association of Athletics Federation to adjust the event’s results and deliberate further on Blonska’s case. Blonska could receive additional sanctions which could likely include a lifetime ban from the sport. This is strike two for Blonska as she tested positive for another banned compound stanozolol five years ago. She was suspended for two years for that first offense. (It seems to Blonska steroid use is such a hard habit to break).

Blonska was also dropped from Friday’s long jump final after finishing third in the qualifying that took place earlier in the week. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare competed in her lieu and won the bronze medal in the final event.

Reports say that Blonska expressed “shock” at the doping results saying she could not understand how the steroid wound up in her system. Blonska said she offered apologies to anti-doping officials and felt ashamed. She then blamed her husband for the failed doping test. Blonsky has been her coach for five years.

“She expressed that she trusted him to take care of her training and diet,” the IOC said. “She indicated that they had expressly agreed that she would not take any prohibited substances. However, her relationship with her husband was currently conflictual.” (We think “conflictual” is the euphemism for matrimonial bloodbath).

The Ukrainian team officials are likewise understandably unhappy with the positive test results. Blonska’s B sample came back positive on Thursday. The officials apologized for the positive results and described the incident as an “extraordinary case” because of her husband’s role. As such, the Ukrainian officials scheduled a meeting next Friday to hear out the case according to the IOC.

There is, however, the happy lot who welcomed Blonska’s disgraceful exit from the Olympics. One of whom was Carolina Kluft, the 2004 Olympic heptathlon champion who finished ninth in the long jump Friday.

“She doesn’t deserve my thought,” the Swede said. “I am just happy she got caught and is out of the sport forever.”

Britain’s elite long jumper Kelly Sotherton, who moved up to fourth in the heptathlon results due to Blonka’s, had continuously complained that Blonska should be disqualified from the Olympics because of her previous doping record.

“It’s great news, even if it’s quite negative,” she said. “It’s great news for my event and the other girls, especially as there was a medal on the line and hopefully that’s the last of her. I won’t have to talk about her again or compete against her again.”

Sunday 24, Aug 2008

  Now, it’s Ukrainian steroid spectacle in Beijing Olympics

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ukraine-steroidsOn the heels of Lyudmila Blonska’s steroid scandal at the Beijing Olympics is another steroid-related case with another Ukrainian athlete. This time around it’s weightlifter Igor Razoronov who has been kicked out of the Beijing Olympics because he tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Razonov became the number 6 athlete to be ejected from the Games due to doping. Many doubt the integrity of the current Summer Games because so far only six athletes have been caught with doping infringements. If you’re to compare it to the last Olympics in Athens four years ago, that’s a paltry figure. Twenty-four athletes were thrown out for doping violations during the Athens Games, wherein three athletes were stripped of their gold medals. The Athens doping statistics is the highest ever in the history of the Olympics.

Currently, the International Olympic Committee has initiated 4,600 doping tests in Beijing and the number is expected to reach more than 5,000 up to the Games’ closing ceremony on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Razonov tested positive for the banned compound after competing in the 105kg-division Monday. He finished sixth in said event. According to the IOC, the weightlifter’s sample was more then a four times over the permitted threshold for the nandrolone. Razoronov did not ask testing for his B sample.

Ukrainian team officials, meanwhile, ‘apologized’ saying the positive result may be due to medication Razonorov was taking. They said Razonorov recently underwent elbow and knee surgery due to injuries.  This claim, however, was disproved by IOC medical director Patrich Schamasch. Schamasch said it was unlikely that such medical treatment would result to the presence of nandrolone in the sample. Further, Razonorov did not make any request for an exemption for use of medications.

The IOC has instructed the International Weightlifting Committee to make adjustments to the competition results and to further deliberate the case for any additional sanctions. Razoronov could face a two-year ban from his sport.

Razoronov’s compatriot heptathlete Blonska has tested positive for the steroid methyltestosterone. Blonska was stripped of her silver medal she won on Saturday.

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