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Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova's doping ban reduced after she assists probe

Anti-doping authorities softened their penalties against disgraced marathoner Liliya Shobukhova on Monday -- and that could be bad news for some of her fellow athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency agreed to a seven-month reduction of the Russian's three-year-plus ban, stating that she had been of "substantial value in uncovering and investigating anti-doping rule violations committed by other individuals, including athlete support personnel."

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It remains to be seen if Shobukhova provided information for WADA's investigation of alleged systemic cheating in Russian sports. WADA and the international track federation declined to discuss any details.

When authorities first announced the detection of abnormalities in  Shobukhova's system -- via a doping-control program that tracks an athlete's blood and hormonal levels over time -- they stripped her of three marathon victories in Chicago and another in London.

That part of the sanction remains intact, but she will now be eligible to compete again immediately.

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