Doping - Poistogova-Guliyev set to be stripped of 2012 Olympic medal after AIU ban

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Ekaterina Poistogova holds her bronze medal, which was later upgraded to silver, during the women's 800m victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ekaterina Poistogova-Guliyev has been banned for two years and will be stripped of the silver medal won for Russia at the 2012 Olympics 800 metres final if she does not appeal, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Thursday.

The AIU said they were banning Guliyev, who switched her allegiance to Turkey, for two years from March 2023 for the use of a prohibited substance and disqualifying her results from July 17, 2012 until Oct. 20, 2014.

The 2012 Olympics were held from July 27-Aug. 12.

Competing as Ekaterina Poistogova, she finished third in the 2012 Olympic final but was upgraded to silver when Russian winner Mariya Savinova was found guilty of doping offences.

If Poistogova-Guliyev is stripped of her silver, Kenyan Pamela Jelimo would be awarded the silver while American Alysia Montano will be moved up to the bronze medal position.

"Guliyev has 45 days (until May 13) to appeal. If that deadline elapses without an appeal, this decision becomes binding and the AIU will proceed with the next steps regarding Guliyev's results at the London 2012 Olympic Games," the AIU said.

If there is no appeal, the AIU will send a sanction memo to World Athletics to disqualify her results, after which they will inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the athletics body has modified the relevant results.

"The IOC will determine any reallocation of Olympic medals and any update of its database," the AIU added.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had recommended that Poistogova-Guliyev be banned for life and have her London medal stripped in 2015 as the result of their investigations into state-sponsored systematic doping in Russian athletics.

She was eventually banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2017 but her results were voided only back to October 2015, allowing her to keep her Olympic medal.

The women's middle distance events at the London Olympics were heavily tainted by doping with two other runners in the 800m final since having had their results voided - Savinova and sixth-placed Russian Elena Arzhakova.

Poistogova-Guliyev is one of hundreds of athletes who have been sanctioned following the 'Operation LIMS' investigation into Moscow's anti-doping laboratory which uncovered widespread institutionalised doping.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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