Track & Field

Winners, Losers, PED Abusers: Beijing Look Back Part 3

The PED Abusers

The Two Kenyan Dopes

Kenya topped the medal table at the world championships for the first time in Beijing, winning seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals. But two female athletes put a blot on the Kenyan card as they failed in-competition drug tests at the championships. Joyce Zakary set a national record of 50.61 in the heats of the 400m before withdrawing from the semi-finals once the news broke. Speaking after her heat she said “I didn’t know I could run like this. I like the track, it’s too fast”. Koki Manunga was well below her best in the 400m hurdles, finishing 6th in her heat before being DQ’d.

Pyhyda took Euro indoor gold in Prague

Pyhyda took Euro indoor gold in Prague

Ukraine Women’s 4x400m relay team

Four athletes run a relay, three of the Ukranians have served bans for doping violations. Nataliya Pyhyda served a two-year ban for steroids, which ended in 2011, and returned to pick up a European relay gold (2014) as well as Euro indoor 400m title earlier this year. She set a 400m PB in the semi-finals in Beijing, at the age of 34. Nataliya Lupu returned from her nine-month ban in January this year, just in time to try and defend her 2013 Euro indoor 800m title – she claimed bronze in Prague. Olha Zemlyak also saw her 2 year ban end in 2011 and has gone from strength to strength since, winning European 4x400m gold and silver (2012,2014) as well as individual 400m silver in 2014. The relay team finished sixth in the final. And the fourth member of the team, Olha Lyakhova, has never had a doping violation. I wonder what she thinks of her teammates?

Returning Cheat Roundup

Men’s 100m – Four finalists who have served doping suspensions, silver medalist Gatlin (four years) taking the majority of their six-year, three-month total. (Dis)Honourable mention to Femi Ogunode (two-year ban) who finished just outside the qualifiers for the final. He did make the 200m final.

Men’s Pole Vault – Three finalists (Lisek, Balner, Gertleyn) with doping ban history to go with world indoor champion Konstadínos Filippídis (two-year ban) who failed to reach the final.

Women’s 100m – Sherone Simpson, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Tahesia Harrigan, Semoy Hackett, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Inna Eftimova. In no particular order or degree of severity, the six aforementioned athletes have served doping bans in the past.

Women’s 400m – Two of our Ukrainian friends from above put a dampener on the stats in this one. With Pyhyda and Zemlyak removed it was only two other athletes who had served doping violation suspensions – former champion Christine Ohuruogu and Tosin Adeloye, who began her suspension in 2013 at age 17.

Women’s Hammer Throw – Four athletes with an impressive eight years of bans between them. Zalina Marghieva was the only one of them to make the final, her ban ending less than a month before the start of the championships. She must be very naturally talented to come back in such good form.

Women’s Shot Put – Geisa Arcanjo, Yulia Leantsiuk, Aliona Dubitskaya, Natallia Mikhnevich…

Stopped reading yet? You probably should have.


…But you can always catch up with parts 1 and 2 here and here.

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Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell is an athlete, physical therapist, and MSc student. He is current national 110m hurdles champion and ranks 3rd & 5th on the Irish all-time list for the sprint hurdles events. He is occasionally referred to as GOD, not due to his initials, but because of his heavenly beard, which he has sported since the age of 5.

1 Comment

  1. Andrew
    September 6, 2015 at 7:01 am — Reply

    Why are most failed drug test reports bereft of info about the drug involved and it’s effect & how it can garner it’s way into the athletes’ bloodstream? It’s quite easy usually to tell apart blatant use of peds from unlucky/unintened use of non-performance enhancing drugs

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