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Caster Semenya in line to take London 2012 gold after another Russian is banned

800m winner Maria Savinova has been banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Savinova celebrates her win.
Savinova celebrates her win.
Image: Anja Niedringhaus/AP/Press Association Images

SOUTH AFRICAN RUNNER Caster Semenya is in line to take the 800m title from the 2012 Olympic Games after Russian athlete Maria Savinova was stripped of her gold medal.

Savinova was also banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who found her “to have been engaged in using doping” from July 2010 until August 2013.”

Savinova won the race in a world-leading time of 1:56.19, beating the South African favourite into second place.

In 2013, another Russian, Elena Arzhakova, was found to have violations in her biological passport and was suspended backdated to July 2011. She had finished seventh in the race.

Then, in 2014, Savinova was filmed by Yulia Stepanova — the Russian doping whistleblower — admitting to injecting testosterone and taking another banned steroid.

This prompted a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation into the country’s athletics programme and, following further evidence of widespread drug use, the Russian track team was suspended from all international competitions, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

Savinova’s disqualification also means that her compatriot, Ekaterina Poistogova, will be promoted to silver while Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo will take bronze.

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