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Open Water Swimmer Stripped of London 2012 Performance After Admitting Doping


Ukrainian open water swimmer Olga Beresnyeva has been stripped of her seventh place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games after admitting to taking EPO (Erythropoietin).

In a release, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) explained how the swimmer admitted her guilt after buying a product online containing EPO, a blood-boosting drug particularly advantageous in endurance events.

This followed re-analysis of urine samples in March this year of a test originally conducted in a pre-Games test in Kiev on July 28, 2012, with the latter test at a laboratory in Cologne taking advantage of “improved analytical methods”.

Beresnyeva’s case was considered by an IOC disciplinary commission chaired by Switzerland’s IOC member Denis Oswald.

The athlete, who won a 25 kilometres gold medal at the 2010 European Championships in Budapest, waived her right to attend a hearing, instead admitted to the violation following her “fatal mistake”.

Olga Beresnyeva explained to the IOC exactly how and when she supposedly used the product ©Getty Images
Olga Beresnyeva explained to the IOC exactly how and when she supposedly used the product ©Getty Images
She admitted to ordering a medication called “Eprex”, starting to take it in mid-June of 2012 and continuing to do so on a weekly basis until the beginning of the Games.

Although a blow, the result is also a triumph for the IOC’s retesting programme, with samples being reviewed from as far back as the Athens 2004 Olympics,

Samples were retested a year after the 2008 Beijing Games, with the five athletes caught including Bahrain’s 1500m winner Rashid Ramzi.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.


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