Liliya Shobukhova will be able to race again. The question, will any race take her?
The disgraced Russian marathoner officially lost her 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago Marathon wins, as well as her 2010 London Marathon title, after it was discovered through her biological passport that she was doping during that period. However, this week the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that Shobukhova’s 3-year, 2-month ban for doping was reduced by seven months due to her cooperation in helping uncover other athletes.
“She accepted from the outset that she had committed an anti-doping rule violation,” WADA said in a statement. “The information and documentation provided by Ms. Shobukhova has been of substantial value in uncovering and investigating anti-doping rule violations committed by other individuals, including athlete support personnel.”
Her reduced ban expired on Sunday, meaning she’s allowed to compete again.
However, the World Marathon Majors has a lifetime doping ban, so don’t expect Shobukhova, 37, to be back in any of those races. The London Marathon confirmed as much, releasing a statement saying “Our zero tolerance policy is unaltered. We believe there should be no place in our sport for people who have cheated, no matter how much assistance they give after they have been caught.”
Not only that, but both the London Marathon and Chicago Marathon said earlier this month that they would be going after Shobukhova to recoup prize money from the races that took place while she was cheating.