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2012 Olympic women's steeplechase champ fails doping retest

Associated Press Associated Press 21/11/2016
FILE - This is a Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 file photo of the medalists in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase from left, Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi, silver, Russia's Yuliya Zaripova, gold, and Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa, bronze, as they pose on the podium during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London. Russian runner Yulia Zaripova, gold medalist in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympics, was named by the IOC on Monday Nov. 21, 2016 as being among the athletes who tested positive in a reanalysis of their doping samples. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This is a Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 file photo of the medalists in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase from left, Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi, silver, Russia's Yuliya Zaripova, gold, and Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa, bronze, as they pose on the podium during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London. Russian runner Yulia Zaripova, gold medalist in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympics, was named by the IOC on Monday Nov. 21, 2016 as being among the athletes who tested positive in a reanalysis of their doping samples. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Yulia Zaripova, the Russian gold medalist in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympics, was among 12 more athletes sanctioned Monday after testing positive in a reanalysis of their doping samples.

Zaripova was among seven medalists — all from countries of the former Soviet Union — disqualified retroactively from the London Games after their stored samples were retested with improved techniques and came back positive for banned substances.

Also sanctioned Monday by the International Olympic Committee were nine weightlifters, a hammer thrower and a long jumper.

Zaripova tested positive for the steroid turinabol on a urine sample she provided after winning the steeplechase final on Aug. 6, 2012, the IOC said.

Zaripova was already expected to lose the gold medal over a separate doping violation prosecuted by the IAAF. She had previously served a 2½-year ban for irregularities in her biological passport. As a result of that violation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport had disqualified all of her results from July 2011 to July 2013, including the London Olympics.

A three-person IOC disciplinary commission said in its ruling that a decision in Zaripova's case "has already been issued and has become final and binding" and "there is no longer any interest to continue the present proceedings and to issue a decision."

The panel recommended that the IOC implement the IAAF decision to amend the Olympic results and strip Zaripova of the gold medal. Under the revised results, Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia takes the gold, with Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia moving to silver and Milcah Chemos Cheywa of Kenya the bronze.

Other athletes stripped of London medals on Monday were: Alexander Ivanov, Russia, silver, men's 94-kilogram weightlifting division; Natliya Zabolotnaya, Russia, silver, women's 75kg weightlifting; Cristina Iovu, Moldova, bronze, women's 53kg weightlifting; Hripsime Khurshudyan, Armenia, bronze, women's 75kg weightlifting; Irina Kulesha, Belarus, bronze, women's 75kg weightlifting; and Anatoli Ciricu, Moldova, bronze, men's 94kg weightlifting.

The non-medalists were Andrei Demanov, Russia, fourth place, men's 94kg weightlifting; Oleksandr Dryhol, Ukraine, 34th place, men's hammer throw; Rauli Tsirekidze, Georgia, ninth place, 85kg weightlifting; Margaryta Tverdokhlib, Ukraine, 26th place, women's long jump; and Almas Uteshov, Kazakhstan, seventh place, men's 94kg weightlifting.

The IOC reanalyzed more than 1,000 stored samples from the London Games and 2008 Beijing Games in order to catch cheats who escaped detection at the time. The new tests can detect the use of steroids going back weeks and months, rather than days.

The IOC recorded at least 98 positive tests from the London and Beijing retesting program, with more expected in the pipeline. The IOC also plans to retest samples from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games after the former Russian lab director said samples were manipulated to cover up doping by Russian athletes.

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