Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova will be stripped of one London Marathon and three Chicago titles, as well as two World Marathon Majors titles, because the International Association of Athletics Federations has invalidated her competitive record from 9th October 2009 and forward.
Shobukhova was banned in April 2014 by the Russian athletics federation. Today’s action by the IAAF was expected after all apparent available appeals had been exhausted. The IAAF successfully argued to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that Shobukhova’s original two-year ban from competition should be extended. The ban now lasts until 23rd March 2016.
The biological passport offense for “abnormal hematological curves” by Shobukhova invalidates her wins in Chicago in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and in London in 2010, plus the two World Marathon Majors series titles from that period, worth $500,000 (£322,056) each. In addition, Shobukhova's personal best of 2:18:20, set to win Chicago in 2011, will be struck, and she will no longer be considered the second fastest woman in history behind world record holder Paula Radcliffe.
The World Marathon Majors said it “will amend the standings for WMM Series IV and WMM Series V and confirm a woman’s series winner.“ That means Irina Mikitenko of Germany will replace Shobukhova as the 2009-2010 series champion and Edna Kiplagatof Kenya will get the 2010-2011 title.
"We are considering all legal remedies to recoup the prize money," the WMM’s Tim Hadzima said. But an IAAF rule stipulates that race organisers do not have to revise their race payments unless the athletes guilty of doping return their winnings.
Chicago spokesperson Cindy Hamilton said, "If we’re unable to recoup the funds, we’ll consider all legal options.” The Chicago Tribune reports that Shobukhova, who was also fourth in Chicago in 2012, earned $265,000 (£170,689) for her finishes and $90,000 (£57,970) in time bonuses in her four marathon appearances in the city and likely received $500,000 (£322,056) in appearance fees.
In a statement emailed to Runner’s World, London Marathon Chief Executive Nick Bitel said that Shobukhova’s results, which also included a second place in 2011, were annulled and that “we will take action through the English courts to recover the prize and appearance money paid to Shobukhova in 2010 and 2011. We will do everything we can to ensure cheats are caught and do not benefit from cheating and we continue to work closely with the IAAF and others authorities to improve out-of-competition drug testing.”
With Shobukhova removed from the standings, marathon titles will be awarded to Mikiteno (2009, Chicago); Astede Baysa (2010, Chicago); Ejegayehu Dibaba (2011, Chicago); and Aselefech Mergia (2010, London).