Thursday November 5th, 2015

Russian marathon runner Maria Konovalova has received a two-year ban by the Russian Athletics Federation for irregularities reported in her biological passport due to doping.

All of Konovalova’s results dating back to 2009 have been annulled. She will be eligible to return to competition after Oct. 26, 2017.

The Russian marathoner finished second at the 2010 Chicago Marathon behind Ethiopia’s Aysede Baysa. U.S. Olympian Desiree Linden (née​ Davila) was the third place finisher behind Konovalova and will be upgraded to second place.

Her second-place finish at the Chicago Marathon earned Konovalova $50,000. Much like convicted doper Liliya Shobukhova​, who won the Chicago Marathon from 2009 to 2011, she will be asked to return all prize money.

Chicago Marathon race organizers issued the following statement:

“The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is aware of today’s announcement by the Russian Athletics Federation in regards to Maria Konovalova’s doping ban based on findings from her athlete biological passport (ABP). We will wait for official notification from the International Athletics Association Federations (IAAF) before addressing the athlete’s standing with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Konovalova participated in the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Chicago Marathons placing second, fifth and third respectively. The Chicago Marathon has been and continues to be an advocate for strict anti-doping measures along with the other events that comprise the Abbott World Marathon Majors.”

In March, Konovalova ran the fastest marathon by a 40-year-old woman at the Nagoya Marathon by running 2:22:27. The result will be vacated.

Konovalova, 41, won the Russian National Championship Half-Marathon on Sept. 12 in 71:49. In that same race, Shobukhova returned to competition after having her three-year ban reduced due to cooperation with investigators. She placed fifth in 76:30 and is now eligible to try and make the Russian national team for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Other Russians banned by the federation include hammer thrower Maria Bespalova, race walker Evegny Nushtaev and runners Vlas Bredikhin and Yaroslav Khlopov.

Besplaova has received a four-year ban.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed that its Independent Commission will share its investigation findings at a press conference on Monday.

Former IAAF President Lamine Diack was arrested on Sunday and questioned over allegations that he accepted bribes for deferring sanctions against Russian athletes that have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. On Tuesday, Diack was released on bail and ordered not to leave France as the investigation continues.

- Christopher Chavez

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