Steeplechaser Ivanova gets two year ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Steeplechaser Ivanova gets two year ban

25/12/2006 06:09:00 AM Comments (0)

Russian steeplechase champion Lyubov Ivanova has been banned for two years by the Russian Athletics Federation after testing positive for a banned substance.

"Yes, there was such a decision," federation spokesman Rostislav Orlov said.

Ivanova won the European 3,000-metre steeplechase title in 2003. She tested positive for an unspecified steroid after finishing fourth at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany, in September. Her ban took effect Friday and must be ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF.

"At the end of the season, an unbelievable thing happened," Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the federation, was quoted as saying by the news agency All Sport.

"Lyubov Ivanova tested positive for a steroid-class substance with a long and complicated name, though a month earlier she also was tested after coming in fourth at the European championships in Gothenburg and came out clean," Balakhnichev said.

Nine Russian athletes had failed tests this season, Balakhnichev said, less than half the total in 2005 when 23 were banned. A total of 1,024 tests were held in athletics meets in Russia this season and the nine athletes were banned for two years.

"We do not need any scandals ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games (in Beijing)," Balakhnichev said.

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