Liliya Shobukhova went from being a celebrated marathon runner to one of the most disgraced distance runners in the international running scene. Now, she’s making headlines again as more news has come out about this Russian athlete who has been caught for doping her way to some of the best-ever times in women’s marathon running. The London Marathon wants the cash back.
For years, Shobukhova made a name for herself as one of the best female runners in the distance: she won the Chicago marathon three years in a row (something no other athlete has ever done), cracked the 2:20 barrier in the marathon with her 2:18:20 PB and boasted being the London Marathon champion twice.
But that was all before she was caught for doping with her results and titles being taken away from her in 2013. She was found to have irregularities on her biological passport since 2009 and was stripped of her titles. For many running fans, she has become the face of Russian doping in athletics.
The London Marathon wants pay back
In more recent news, the London Marathon has come out saying they want their money back. All £377,961 of it. That’s the money which was awarded to Shobukhova in prize and appearance awards for running the marathon in 2011 and 2012. The high court in London has ruled that the dollars are to be returned. This was first reported on by The Guardian.
It’s not outlandish to make this demand either. The World Marathon Majors has a rule which states that any athlete caught to be cheating must return their prize. And because of Shobukhova’s record, she has already been banned from the London Marathon and all World Major Marathons for life.
It’s not known how the whole London/ Shobukhova debacle will unfold just yet. What is known, and was reported on by The Guardian as well, is that chief executive of London Marathon Events, Nick Bitel, is adamant to make the race a space free of cheaters. He wants to divvy up the Russian athlete’s prize dollars to those athletes who were affected by Shobukhova’s dishonesty.