The results of our runner in London 2012 were annulled. All because of the infamous document.
The international community has recently created a lot of problems for Russian sports. Some athletes are forbidden to perform with national symbols, others are completely excluded from competitions, and still others are “accidentally” forgotten during the distribution of well-deserved awards.
However, the “classic” instrument of pressure on our athletes has not exhausted itself – doping scandals. Russians continue to be persecuted and punished for old cases, and recently the hands of the IOC have reached the history of 10 years ago.
The Russian runner was deprived of the most important prize in her career. In favor of … the United States.
The Olympic debut of Natalia Antyukh took place back in 2004. In Athens, the young runner, who had already proved herself at the Youth Games under the auspices of the IOC, went at least to fight for prizes. The athlete met her high expectations: in the 400-meter race she won a bronze medal, losing in particular to the more experienced and famous Ana Guevara, who won gold at the 2003 World Cup at a similar distance.
Natalya achieved her best result in the 4x400m relay, in which she got the most responsible, final stage. The Russian team won silver, losing a second to rivals from the United States. This is where things got interesting…
Antyukh and her colleagues, as it turned out later, deserved the first prize. Six years later, one of the American runners admitted to using doping during the Olympics. Crystal Cox participated in the qualifying, not the final race, but her performance in any case influenced the final result of the team. In fairness, all American women should have been deprived of medals, and in 2012 the IOC really made a similar request … In this case, the gold should have gone to the Russians.
However, a year later, the IOC unexpectedly refused to punish the American team. The results of the race were left in force, depriving the medal only of the guilty Cox. The practice of mutual responsibility, subsequently applied to our athletes, for some reason was not used in relation to athletes from the USA. By an evil irony of fate, in a few years the Olympic Committee will again deprive Natalya of gold, but for a different reason.
Decisions in favor of the USA and Ukraine
Antyukh returned to the Olympics in 2012, having missed the Beijing Games due to a dramatic fall in the qualification for the tournament. The Russian woman went to the UK in order to achieve the main goal in her career – Olympic gold. And this height obeyed her: Natalya won the 400-meter hurdles.
True, the Russian woman was not destined to keep the coveted Olympic gold. A stain on the reputation of the athlete was put by the scandalous report of Richard McLaren, according to which Antyukh was disqualified for 4 years. However, this decision was made in 2021 – by that time, Natalia had long since retired. A more unpleasant consequence for her was the annulment of all successes from the summer of 2013 to December 2015, but the girl hardly regretted this either: she won all her main prizes earlier.
The last decision was really dramatic for Antyukh. In October 2022, the Independent Anti-Doping Organization in Athletics (AIU) accused Natalya of “using a prohibited substance or method”, using the data of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, and canceled all the results of the Russian woman for an earlier period – from July 15, 2012 to 29 June 2013.
The Russian woman won the Olympic gold just in August 2012, but by that time the athlete could still have hope for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, on December 21, the IOC confirmed the decision of the AIU: Antyukh’s victory was declared invalid, and now the medal must go to … her competitor from the USA, Lashinda Demus. Czech Zuzana Geynova and Jamaican Kalisa Spencer will also move up a notch.
It is curious that five years ago Antyukh was already deprived of one Olympic prize – and also from a tournament in London. Then Natalia just had to suffer because of her partner: doping was found in the sample of another participant in the 4 × 400 meters relay, Antonina Krivoshapko. As a result, the IOC took away the silver medals from the Russians, giving them to the team from Jamaica, and the bronze went to the girls from Ukraine.
Comparing the situations of Athens-2004 and London-2012, one can only shrug: it seems that the attitude towards athletes from Russia was not the most fair ten years ago. However, Natalya Antyukh, it seems, is no longer particularly worried about all these ups and downs at the junction of politics and sports: the athlete does not plan to challenge the scandalous decision – it’s useless.