Road Running

Shobukhova stripped; Marathon Majors want their money back

Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova has finally been stripped of her London and Chicago Marathon titles, 18 months after she was banned by the Russian federation due to irregularities in her biological passport and unsurprisingly, the organisation that made her a very rich athlete now wants its money back.

Smiling no more: Liliya Shobukhova at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. Image: PhotoRun

Smiling no more: Liliya Shobukhova at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. Image: PhotoRun

“We are considering all legal remedies to recoup the prize money,” said Tim Hadzima, general manager of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

The IAAF confirmed this week that her performances will be removed from the record books in the wake of her being handed a three-year, two-month ban which runs until March 23, 2016.

Shobukhova, who was a three-time champion in Chicago (2009, 2010, 2011) and a champion in London in 2010, was previously the second fastest female marathoner of all time with her 2:18:20 personal best. However, all performances since October 9, 2009 are now wiped from the record books.

The Russian was twice a champion in the World Marathon Major series, netting $500,000 for each victory.

Shobukhova was the subject of an allegation last year which went right to the top of the sport, with German broadcaster ARD reporting that she paid €450,000 to the Russian Athletics federation to avoid the doping ban, which she alleges was refunded in part following her failed test.

ARD claimed at the time it possessed evidence linking the €300,000 refund to IAAF’s former treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev and that Black Tidings, a Singapore-based company that allegedly made the payment, was owned by a business parter of Papa Diack, the son of current IAAF President Lamine.

Here’s Shobukhova in happier times, winning London in 2011.
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Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy

Cathal Dennehy is a freelance journalist, a once-serious, now-retired athlete who writes for a number of international publications in the running industry. He has won two sports-writing awards, the Peter Ball Memorial Award in Ireland and the Wills Writing Award in the UK. Nationally, he previously worked for the Sunday Tribune, Irish Runner magazine and has written for the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent, the Guardian and The Independent in Britain. He is a regular contributor to Running Times, Runner's World, RunBlogRun and the IAAF website.
His banter levels are often poor, occasionally exceptional.

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