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WADA victims. How the harvest of the London Olympics was “mowed down”

Last week, Natalya Antyukh was stripped of her 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles. Alas, this is just one of the sad episodes in a series of retrospective disqualifications. For those who remember the great Russian athletics team of those times in action, there was another blow to nostalgic memories. Sports remembered six of the brightest stars of that Olympics.

More than a hundred Russian athletes went to the Olympic Games in London then. Now we are getting used to the fact that our athletes do not perform abroad at all. So the number seems incredible. Even more incomprehensible is the statistics of suspensions that overtook that team over the past 10 years.

Seven gold, four silver and two bronze medals. Such are the losses of a team that had track and field legends and rising stars. Some have already fallen victim to sample cross-checks and database analyses. Others hope to keep the awards.

Ivan Ukhov
High jumps – one of the most spectacular types of athletics – have always been considered our “crown”. Ivan Ukhov was perhaps the brightest star of the discipline.At the dawn of his career, he became famous for jumping while drunk. Because of them, Ukhov was offended by journalists for a long time. The jumper approached the Olympic Games in London as a favorite and won a convincing victory.

Soon, films about Russian doping by German journalist Hajo Seppelt appeared, followed by one commission after another. Our athletes began to lose medals. Ukhov held out until 2019. As a result, the Olympic gold was taken away from him.

The reason was not a positive doping test, but the presence in the base of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory. It is known that the former director Grigory Rodchenkov passed it.

It is still widely believed that Ukhov is not to blame. Allegedly, he jumped “clean”, but he was included in the list so as not to tear him away from the team. Whether this is true or not, we will not know. And no one will return the medal to Ivan.

It remains only to remember his Olympic history. In the jump sector of the London stadium, Ukhov's T-shirt mysteriously disappeared. To avoid disqualification, he borrowed it from Andrey Silnov, who had finished the competition by that time. Alas, they could not remove Ukhov in one way – they removed it in another way.

Anna Chicherova
No one ever doubted Chicherova. Shortly before the beginning of the fall of Russian athletics into the abyss, the All-Russian Federation chose the athlete as the face of the campaign to popularize “Clean Sport”. Alas, in 2016 it turned out that there are no saints. More precisely, Chicherova does not belong to them. Re-analysis of a doping test from the 2008 Olympics gave a positive result for turinabol.Anna was taken away the bronze of those Games and the silver of the next year's World Championship in Berlin. The International Federation, as knowledgeable people said, was especially angered by the puncture of the “face of clean sport”. This deprived our athletics of the remnants of trust, which has not been able to return for seven long years.

However, Chicherova retained the main sports award of her life – the gold of the 2012 Olympic Games. I would like to hope that forever. Although, as the example of the same Antyukh showed, one cannot remain confident.

Maria Savinova
Who at the London Olympics did not root for a miniature Russian runner who fought South African Caster Semenya at a distance of 800 meters? Everyone was sick. If anyone was suspected of pumping steroids, then a powerful and manly rival. Later, proceedings were conducted regarding the level of testosterone in Seed's body.Alas, the current peak of Russian athletics began with Savinova. She became the protagonist of the first series of Zeppelt's film. In it, coach Vladimir Kazarin gives the runner some pills. It seemed like a cheap installation.

However, the video was enough to create a WADA commission led by Richard Pound. He agreed with all the conclusions of the “filmmakers”. In 2018, Savinova was found guilty of doping, taking away the medals of the Olympics and two world championships. Although she did not pass a single positive test, even after rechecks.

Ekaterina Poistogova (Zavyalova, now Guliyeva)
By the number of titles, Ekaterina cannot be called a bright star of that national team. However, her medal at the London Olympics was perhaps the most sensational and impressive. Poistogova also fought with Semenya and took third place in the final. Many have recognized the race as perhaps the most beautiful in history.Then the runner, like Savinova, got on a hidden camera to Zeppelt. She also became one of the heroines of the first film.

It would seem that the fate of the runner is also a foregone conclusion. Nothing like this. The ways of Western justice are inscrutable. Although Poistogova was “submitted” by the Pound Commission to a life-long disqualification, the Court of Arbitration for Sport refused to apply the measure and take away the Olympic medal.

We managed with a two-year disqualification. Apparently, to maintain balance in the universe. It is difficult to think of another reason why Savinova suffered, but Poistogov did not.

The athlete, having served time, began a new life. Having married sprinter Ramil Guliyev, she competes for Turkey under the name of her husband. However, the award of the London Olympics reminds of the old life. By the way, after the disqualification of Savinova, she turned from bronze to silver.

Elena Isinbayeva
The athlete, without exaggeration, can be considered an icon of Russian athletics. Everyone knows Isinbayeva, even if they do not always pronounce her surname correctly. Elena also performed at the London Olympics. In sports terms, she is hardly very satisfied with her. third. If we recall the couple of seasons preceding the London Olympics, it is worth noting that for Elena the result was not so disastrous. She performed at that time extremely unstable.

A year later, Isinbayeva won the World Championship in Moscow, then took a break to return to the 2016 Games in Rio. But that did not happen. The International Federation of the entire Russian athletics team allowed only long jumper Daria Klishina.

The removal of Isinbayeva, along with the rest of the team, showed that nothing was sacred in Russian athletics. At least for our opponents, there really is none left.It soon became clear that the World Anti-Doping Agency had a separate “tooth” against the two-time Olympic champion. WADA spoke out against the appointment of Isinbayeva to the post of head of the supervisory board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. The formal reason is “non-compliance with RUSADA's recovery roadmap”.

What exactly lies behind this formulation, one can only guess. According to insiders from Inside the Games, Elena was unhappy because of her criticism of WADA's actions and disqualifications. Officially, WADA did not recognize this. As if with regard to the two-time Olympic champion, it “quieted”. It would be nice forever.

Yuri Borzakovsky
Perhaps few people remember this, but Yury Borzakovsky, the 2004 Olympic champion in the 800 meters, also competed in Games-2012. Moreover, that year, shortly before his trip to London, he became the winner of the European Championship in Helsinki. However, at his third Olympics, Borzakovsky took only fifth place in the semi-finals and did not qualify for the decisive race.

He has not ceased to be an outstanding star of Russian athletics. It can be said for sure that not a single activist of Yuri Mikhailovich who was pessimistic about our sport suspected anything.

Borzakovsky is a nugget that appears once every 100 years. Especially given the discipline in which he shone. This can be considered an axiom that does not require proof.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors

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