CAS bans Chernova, Ennis-Hill set for third world title
Russian heptathlete Tatyana Chernova was banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday for doping and stripped of her 2011 world title, effectively handing the crown to Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Chernova’s gold medal from the world championships in Daegu, South Korea is now set to be awarded to the Briton EnnisHill, the 2012 London Olympic champion and silver medallist at this year’s Rio Games. CAS banned Chernova, 28, for three years and eight months, with all her results over a two-year period from the world championships in 2011 now void. Ennis-Hill, who won world gold in her own right in 2009 and 2015, has long called for the 2011 title to go to her after Chernova had a sample from the 2009 world championships retested later to reveal an anabolic steroid. Chernova, just the latest Russian athlete punished for doping, would not have been eligible to compete in South Korea if her positive test had been discovered at the time.
Soon after the CAS statement came out, Ennis-Hill posted a message on Instagram alongside a picture of her and a celebrating Chernova in Daegu. “This image was forever imprinted in my mind! However much it drove me on for what I was about to achieve at my first Olympics in London, in my heart I just knew it was wrong,” Ennis-Hill wrote.
“So happy to finally be receiving my gold medal. Triple World Champion WOW.” Ennis-Hill, the 2012 Olympic champion, won her other heptathlon world golds at Berlin in 2009 and Beijing last year.
As well as losing her 2011 world title Chernova has also been deprived of her 2012 Olympic bronze, with Lithuania’s Austra Skujyte set to inherit third. CAS issued bans for Russian middle distance runners Ekaterina Sharmina (three years) and Kristina Ugarova (two years).
All three cases were referred to CAS by athletics’ governing body the IAAF in February with the top sports court stepping in to take over from Russia’s suspended athletics federation the ARAF.
The IAAF had ruled that CAS was to determine the fate of all Russian athletes accused of doping.
This trio were found guilty after their “Athlete Biological Passports (ABP) showed evidence of blood doping,” CAS said in a statement. Tuesday’s verdicts are open to appeal. In its statement CAS said: “The collection of the blood samples for these athletes started many years ago (dating back to 2009 for Ms Chernova, to 2011-2012 for the others), but the analysis of the blood values and of the Biological Passports was conducted in 2015.”
Russia’s image in world sports has been badly tarnished by evidence of state-sponsored doping that saw its athletics team and entire Paralympics squad excluded from the Rio Games this summer. — AFP