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IOC suspends heptathlon medalist for doping

Heptathlon silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska has been temporarily suspended pending a final ruling in her doping case at the Beijing Olympics.
Lyudmilla Blonska
Heptathlon silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska tested positive for a banned substance after last Saturday's medal race. Winfried Rothermel / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Heptathlon silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska was kicked out of the women’s long jump final Thursday following her positive doping test.

The International Olympic Committee temporarily suspended the Ukrainian athlete from the Beijing Games pending a final ruling Friday, the same day as the medal round of the long jump.

“According to the decision of the IOC, Lyudmila Blonska has been removed from the start list for the women’s long jump final,” the International Association of Athletics Federation said in a statement.

Blonska was third in qualifying with a jump of 6.76 meters (22 feet, 2 ¼ inches).

The IOC’s disciplinary commission met to hear Blonska’s case Thursday and decided to provisionally suspend her. The IOC’s ruling executive board will issue its final ruling Friday.

The 30-year-old Blonska tested positive for a banned steroid after she finished second in the heptathlon last Saturday. If found guilty of doping, she will be stripped of the medal and expelled from the games.

Blonska also faces a lifetime ban from the IAAF for a second doping violation. She served a doping suspension for the steroid stanozolol between 2003-05.

The third-place finisher in the heptathlon was American Hyleas Fountain, who would be bumped up to the silver if Blonska is disqualified. Russia’s Tatiana Chernova would move up from fourth to the bronze.

Blonska is the highest profile athlete, and first in track and field, among the five who have tested positive so far at the games.

Previously disqualified were Greek hurdler Fani Halkia, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno and Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do.