Russian cheats may be able to keep their medals from the 2005 world championships.
The World Anti-Doping Agency believes several doping cases in track and field may not be punished as the International Association of Athletics Federation, the sport's governing body, conducted re-tests of the samples past their statute of limitations.
The Associated Press was informed by WADA that the IAAF wrongly interpreted a rule change in April 2015 when samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships were re-tested and uncovered 28 athletes that have tested positive for banned substances. The IAAF believed it was able to retest samples from 2005 because of changes on the statute of limitations by WADA increased to 10 years in 2015. WADA says the previous eight-year limit should have been applied to those samples.
This means that Russian middle distance runner Tatyana Andrianova may be able to keep her bronze medal from the 2005 world championships in the women's 800 meters. She tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol in a doping sample that was taken from the day of competition. She has appealed the suspension for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Beloborodova won a silver medal at the 2005 world championships before taking gold at the 2012 Olympics. She was provisionally suspended by the IAAF earlier in the week for what Russian media reports believe to be from the re-testing of a 2005 drug sample.
Over the last few months, the IAAF and WADA have taken action to clean and rid the sport of drug cheats. An independent review by WADA uncovered evidence of systemic doping in Russia, where positive tests by athletes were covered-up by officials, coaches and agents. Russia has been banned from international competition and may miss the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Re-tests on samples from the 2007 world championships are within the deadline.
- Chris Chavez