Anti-doping authorities ban Olympic gold medalist and two other top athletes

Russia's Mariya Savinova-Farnosova celebrates after crossing the finish line first in the 800 meters at the 2012 London Olympics.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A Russian middle-distance runner has been stripped of her Olympic gold medal and two top winter athletes have been penalized as international sport continues its war on doping.

Mariya Savinova-Farnosova must forfeit her 800-meter victory from the 2012 London Games after the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that it had found evidence she cheated from 2010 through 2013.

The decision opens the way for Caster Semenya of South Africa, who finished second in that London race, to become a two-time Olympic champion.

Also on Friday, Russian biathlete Ekaterina Glazyrina was provisionally suspended on suspicion of doping just hours before she was to compete in the world championships in Hochfilzen, Austria.

The penalty was triggered by information contained in last December’s installment of the McLaren Report, part of a recent crackdown by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee and other major sports organizations.


The banned substances allegedly taken by Savinova-Farnosova and Glazyrina were not named.

In another development, the Norwegian Olympic Committee confirmed a 13-month suspension of cross-country skier Therese Johaug, who tested positive for clostebol.

Johaug reportedly claimed the steroid entered her system as the result of a team doctor giving her a balm for her sunburned lips during high-altitude training in Italy last summer.

The 28-year-old should regain eligibility in time for next season’s World Cup schedule and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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