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IOC strips Blonska's silver medal

August 22, 2008 16:15 IST

Ukrainian heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska has been stripped of her Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images] silver medal after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

Blonska now faces a lifetime ban after what was officially her second doping offence. She returned to competition in 2005 after serving a two-year doping ban.

She won silver on Saturday behind compatriot Nataliia Dobrynska. American Hyleas Fountain took bronze. Tatiana Chernova of Russia [Images] finished fourth. These athletes now move up.

"The IOC Executive Board today decided the athlete is disqualified from the women's heptathlon event, where she had placed second, is excluded from the Games (and) shall have her medal and diploma withdrawn," the IOC said in a statement. A diploma is given to athletes for competing at the Olympics.

Blonska tested positive to methyltestosterone after her competition on August 17. All top-five finishers as well as several other random athletes undergo drugs tests during the Games.

The IOC also asked the International Association of Athletics Federations to impose any further sanctions.

"The IAAF is requested to modify the results of the event accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence," it said.

On Thursday Blonska had provisionally been suspended and was also removed from the long jump final she was due to compete in on Friday.

So far, over 4,600 tests have been performed out of the more than 5,000 tests the IOC expects to conduct throughout the Games.

Five athletes, including Blonska, have now been caught doping and been dismissed from the Olympics.

A Spanish cyclist, a North Korean shooter, a Vietnamese gymnast and a Greek hurdler have all failed doping tests prior to Blonska, with the IOC enforcing the most sophisticated and far-reaching testing program ever introduced during an Olympic Games.

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