Russia’s Olympic discus silver medallist Darya Pishchalnikova commits second doping offence, testing positive for an anabolic steroid
Olympic discus silver medallist Darya Pishchalnikova could be handed a lifetime ban from athletics after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
It is her second doping offence, having previously served a ban from 2008 to 2011 after being found to tamper with a doping control test.
The Russian burst on to the scene in 2006, winning the European title at the age of 21. One year later she took silver at the World Championships, but was later stripped of that medal in 2008 when it was revealed she was one of several Russian athletes who manipulated drug test samples.
After serving a ban, she returned better than ever and this year set a lifetime best of 70.69m – the farthest throw in the world since 1992 – before going on to finish second at the Olympics behind Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic.
But Nikita Kamayev, the executive director of Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was conducting an investigation after one of Pishchalnikova’s samples tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
“WADA had asked RUSADA to take a sample from Pishchalnikova,” Kamayev told local media. “The test had found the presence of a heavy substance (anabolic steroid).
“The test came out positive – it’s a fact and now we must wait for the official statement.”
Pishchalnikova could now face a ban ranging from eight years to a lifetime suspension. If the positive sample she provided came before the Olympics, she could also be stripped of her silver medal.
This follows the news earlier in the week that Russian distance runner and former European 10,000m champion Inga Abitova was found to have an “abnormal haemoglobin profile” in her biological passport.