Pamela Jelimo set to receive Olympic silver after Ekaterina Guliyev's doping ban


Pamela Jelimo set to receive Olympic silver after Ekaterina Guliyev's doping ban

Festus Chuma 19:10 - 08.04.2024

South Africa's Caster Semenya has been elevated to gold with Kenya's Pamela Jelimo set for silver after doping reshuffle in 2012 Olympics 800m.

Former Olympic 800 champion, Pamela Jelimo, is poised to be awarded the 2012 London Olympic 800m silver, marking a significant shift in the event's final standings due to doping violations.

This development comes after the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced a four-year ban for Ekaterina Poistogova-Guliyev for historic doping offences, leading to a reshuffle of the medal positions from the London games.

The ban, which results from violations between July 2012 and October 2014, voids all of Poistogova-Guliyev's results from that period, according to a RusAF statement. 

The athlete, who initially competed for Russia before switching allegiance to Turkey, was implicated in the use or attempted use of banned substances, with evidence drawn from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

The case has had far-reaching implications, not only for Poistogova-Guliyev but also for other athletes in the 2012 Olympic 800m event. 

Pamela Jelimo, the London Olympic bronze medallist, will be elevated to silver, and American Alysia Montano, who finished fifth, is set to inherit the bronze, pending official confirmation.

This adjustment stems from a broader investigation into systematic doping within Russian athletics, spearheaded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

WADA had initially recommended a lifetime ban for Poistogova-Guliyev in 2015, alongside the stripping of her London medal, as part of its findings on state-sponsored doping.

Although the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) imposed a two-year ban on Poistogova-Guliyev in 2017, her results were initially voided only back to October 2015, allowing her to retain her Olympic medal temporarily. 

The recent decision by RusAF to extend the voiding of her results to July 2012 effectively strips her of the medal, subject to final approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The women's middle distance events at the London Olympics have been notably affected by doping, with three runners in the 800m final, including Poistogova-Guliyev, Mariya Savinova, and Elena Arzhakova, having their results voided due to doping offences. 

Jelimo's elevation to the silver medal position comes after a long wait; it took 10 years for her to be awarded the bronze medal for the same event, following the disqualification of Maria Savinova for doping violations. 

The reallocation of medals in cases of doping violations is a complex and often slow process, involving multiple organisations including WADA, CAS, RusAF, and the IOC. 

The final decision on the redistribution of medals from the 2012 Olympics will be closely watched by the athletics community and represents a critical step in the ongoing fight against doping in sport.

Poistogova-Guliyev's ban, which lasts until 2026, reflects a deduction for the time served under her previous CAS-imposed sanction. 

In addition to her case, RusAF has announced a two-year and six-month ban for 3,000m steeplechaser Nikolay Chavkin for similar doping offenses.

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