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Hefferan and Loughane to get their just rewards


Walkers to get their just rewards

Race Walkers Robert Heffernan and Olive Loughnane will be upgraded with Olympic bronze and world gold medals after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld six appeals today filed by the IAAF against Russian athletes.

Heffernan will be awarded the Olympic bronze medal for the 50km walk from the London Games in 2012 while this rubber stamps Loughnane being upgraded from silver to gold over 20km in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

 “The appeals concern one element of decisions issued by the disciplinary committee of the Russian Anti-doping Agency (“RUSADA”) in anti-doping cases brought against the athletes, based on irregularities observed in the athletes’ biological passports,” read the CAS release today.

“The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) claimed that RUSADA had incorrectly applied the applicable anti-doping rules adopted by IAAF (the “IAAF ADR”) to implement the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code with respect to the disqualification of competitive results (disqualification of results split in different periods). The IAAF challenged what it felt was a “selective” disqualification of results, submitting that all results achieved by the athletes from the date of their first abnormal sample to the date they accepted a provisional suspension should be disqualified.”

Athletics Ireland welcomes the ruling which sees that “all competitive results obtained by Mr Sergey Kirdyapkin from 20 August 2009 to 15 October 2012 are disqualified” and “all competitive results obtained by Ms Olga Kaniskina from 15 August 2009 to 15 October 2012 disqualified.” The consequences of which in accordance with article 40.9 of the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules will see Heffernan and Loughnane get their medals.

Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of Athletics Ireland, was delighted upon hearing the news: “I'm delighted to hear about this long-awaited ruling and, most importantly, that Robert and Olive will now get the medals that they deserve.

“This now completes the set of European, World and Olympic medals for Robert to put him up there with one of Ireland's most successful athletes. Hopefully Robert can go to Rio and win a medal to get the proper experience and feeling he deserves standing on the podium.”

Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley was equally pleased with the news that follows through on the letters he wrote to the IAAF on December 8th 2014 and January 27th 2015 voicing his concerns. “This is truly wonderful news for both Olive and Robert. Ireland is a small country.  Winning World and Olympic medals are a significant honour for the athlete, the federation and a country as a whole. It continues the great success we have had as a nation in athletics. I’m delighted with the news and that justice is being served.”

To read the CAS release click HERE

For Irish Athletics Olympians click HERE

For major medal winners click HERE

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