Home > The Scene

Russian racewalker loses Olympic and world titles after anti-doping violation

Russia won eight gold medals in athletics at London 2012, but after a series of disqualifications, they have two

Photo by: Paul Barber

Russian racewalker Yelena Lashmanova, who won Olympic gold in world-record fashion at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, will be stripped of her gold medal after breaching World Athletics anti-doping rules. Her Olympic title won’t be the only gold she will lose, as the 20 km racewalk title from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow will also be removed.

Lashmanova won women’s 20 km racewalk at the London Olympics in a world record time of 1:25:02, which is four minutes and 15 seconds per kilometre. She has now been banned for two years, which started last year, for the use of prohibited substances.

According to World Athletics, Lashmanova has accepted the sanction proposed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, which includes the disqualification of her results between Feb. 18, 2012 and Jan. 3, 2014.

Yelena Lashmanova at the London Olympics. Photo: Paul Barber

China’s Qieyang Shenjie and Liu Hong, who originally came second and third in London, have been upgraded to gold and silver. Lashmanova’s removal completes the Chinese sweep of the podium, as Lu Xiuzhi moved up into the bronze-medal position.

The new gold medallist, Shenjie, initially finished in the bronze-medal position but was upgraded to silver when Lashmanova’s teammate, Olga Kaniskina, was disqualified in 2016, also for a doping violation.

All three Russian racewalkers who competed in the women’s 20 km event are now disqualified. Anisya Kirdyapkina, who finished fifth, was disqualified in 2019.

Yelena Lashmanova received a two-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit. Photo: Paul Barber

Russia won eight gold medals in athletics at the London Olympics; now their gold medal count stands at two.

400m hurdler Natalya Antyukh and high-jumper Anna Chicherova remain as the only two Russian gold medallists from the London Olympics who have not been disqualified.

In 2020, Antyukh was charged with doping violations dating back to 2013, while Chicherova tested positive for the banned substance turinabol (an anabolic steroid), which resulted in the removal of her 2008 Olympic bronze high-jump medal.

Despite previous doping violations, both Antyukh’s and Chicherova’s Olympic gold medals still stand.