Russian Runner Liliya Shobukhova Told To Repay £377,000 to London Marathon Organisers
The 38-year-old was banned for doping in the aftermath of her 2010 London Marathon win, and has now been ordered to give back her winnings.
Shobukhova (centre) after her London Marathon win in 2010 // EPA Images/Felipe Trueba
Russian long-distance runner Liliya Shobukhova has been told to repay £377,000 to the organisers of the London Marathon, having been banned for doping violations in 2014.
Shobukhova won the London Marathon in 2010, finishing with a time two hours and 22 minutes. She also won the Chicago Marathon on three consecutive occasions between 2009 and 2011, but "abnormalities" were discovered in her biological passport in April 2014, and she was subsequently handed a seven-month suspension.
In addition to her ban, her race results from 9 October 2009 onwards were annulled. That has led London Marathon organisers to pursue her for the prize money she won in 2010, which they now plan to redistribute amongst the clean athletes who were robbed of their winnings.
"Cheats should not benefit," London Marathon Events chief Nick Bitel told the BBC. "It will be a long and difficult process, but we will pursue it."
He added that other athletes have been "cheated out of their rightful dues". While Shobukhova was given fairly lenient treatment by WADA after aiding their investigation into her case, those who were left out of pocket by her actions may feel considerably less charitable.
The judgement on the repayment of winnings needs to be enforced by Russia, and it is yet to be seen whether Russian officials will recognise the legitimacy of the claim. Russian athletics is currently embroiled in a far greater scandal, after the latest report commissioned by WADA confirmed allegations of state-sponsored, government-aided doping before and after the Sochi Olympics.