Two Oceans women’s winner tests positive for steroids
TWO Oceans Marathon women’s winner Natalia Volgina of Russia has tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) said on Thursday.
Volgina could face a two-year ban and be stripped of her title and R250,000 prize money if found guilty by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Saids CE Khalid Galant said the 36-year-old was tested after she completed the annual 56km ultra-marathon on March 30, as per the normal doping control procedure for athletic events.
“At the conclusion of the 2013 Two Oceans Marathon Saids conducted a total of 24 doping control tests on the top finishers,” Mr Galant said.
“Only one test came back positive for a banned substance.”
Volgina won the race in three hours, 38 minutes, 38 seconds (3:38:38), finishing more than a minute ahead of Zimbabwean Tabitha Tsatsa, who finished second.
It was the Russian’s second Two Oceans victory and her first in 11 years.
Mr Galant said the race organisers were notified of the positive result and the case was reported to the IAAF and Russian Athletics Federation. These two bodies would preside over the case to hear the charge against the athlete.
Mr Galant said Volgina retained the right to request a confirmation test of her B-sample, to determine whether her A-sample result was correct.
He said international athletes competing on South African soil came under the same scrutiny and drug testing rules and regulations as South Africans.
“We are part of a global anti-doping network, therefore no international athlete competing in South Africa should think that they will not be tested. Conversely, this also applies to our athletes that compete internationally and who are tested by our anti-doping agency counterparts.”
Last month, Comrades Marathon champion Ludwick Mamabolo was cleared of doping charges due to irregularities in the post-race testing process.
Mr Mamabolo tested positive for methylhexaneamine in June last year, shortly after he became the first South African in seven years to win the 89km race in KwaZulu-Natal.