- 21 Aug 08, 10:18 AM
Ukrainian heptahlete Lyudmila Blonska was exposed five years ago as a drugs cheat.
If she were British she wouldn't have been at the Beijing Games, because the British Olympic Association's bye law, still intact after Dwain Chambers' recent challenge, would have prevented her.
The lifetime ban which will now surely follow once the IOC and IAAF have concluded the disciplinary process against her will hopefully bring to an end a career built on a lie.
Sources say this latest infringement is another steroid case, just as it was in 2003, when she was first banned for two years.
Steroids allow you to train harder, build more stamina, add bulk, improve performance. They also threaten your heart, screw your hormones and can shorten your life.
The IOC's perspective has changed from shuffling embarrassment at positive drug tests during the Games, to unequivocal opposition to cheats. They've carried out 4,133 tests to date, 840 of them blood tests, the rest urine.
They take a while to process, 72 hours or so.
To date, four athletes have been disqualified: Greek hurdler Fani Halkia, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su, Spanish cyclist Isabel Moreno and Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do.
Thirty-nine others have been caught in the lead-up to the Games, in tests carried out by international federations, and other national anti-doping agencies.
Athletics govening body, the IAAF, in particular are on the offensive. They really understand the threat to the credibility of athletics posed by cases like Blonska's.
British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, who finished fifth in Beijing, has suggested that once the due process is followed, the re-allocated heptathlon medals ought to be presented to their rightful owners again at a proper ceremony in the stadium.
I think it's a great idea. It would underline the point that the price of cheating is disgrace.
The more deterrents the better, as far as I'm concerned.
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