Semenya not delighted at prospect of stripped gold
CASTER Semenya got a step closer to becoming a double Olympic and world champion after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Russian athlete Mariya Savinova be stripped of her gold medals from the London 2012 Olympic Games and 2011 World Championships.
This followed the release of a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report at the end of 2015 which recommended Savinova receive a “lifetime ban from sport”.
Wada released its findings into allegations made by a German television channel ARD in December 2014 of systematic doping in athletics events particularly in Russia.
“On the basis of clear evi- dence, including the evidence derived from her biological passpor t ( ABP), Mariya Savinova-Farnosova is found to have been engaged in using doping from July 26, 2010 through to August 19, 2013,” the court said in its ruling.
“A four- year period of i n e l i g i b i l i t y, be ginning on August 24, 2015, has been imposed on Mariya Savinova-Far nosova and all results achieved by her between July 26, 2010 and August 19, 2013, are disqualified and any prizes, medals, prize and appearance money forfeited.”
The court acted as first i nstance decision- making authority in the arbitration between the Inter national Association of Athletics Fed- erations (IAAF), the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and Savinova. She was substituting for RusAF, which was suspended at the time the matter was ready to be adjudicated. It remains suspended.
Savinova was identified in secret recordings in the documentary where she admitted to taking banned substances.
Speaking shortly after the Wada report was released Semenya told The Star earning the gold in this way would almost be an empty victory.
“It wouldn’t mean anything for me, it would be great for my country but for me as an athlete I cannot entertain the thought.”The IAAF said yesterday Savinova had 45 days to appeal the decision.