Loughane may get world gold after disqualification Ireland’s Olive Loughnane could be in line for a World Championship gold after the Russian athlete she finished second to in 2009 was disqualified for doping.
Olga Kaniskina won gold in the women’s 20km walk in Berlin in August 2009, with Loughnane finishing second.
According to Russian anti doping body RUSADA, Kaniskina will now have all her results between 15 July 2009 and 16 September 2009 cancelled.
If confirmed, this would move Loughnane to the gold medal position and she would become only the fourth Irish athlete to win a world gold, after Eamonn Coghlan, Sonia O’Sullivan and Rob Heffernan.
Heffernan is also one of a number of other athletes who could be in line for a medal after the disqualification of two separate Russian race walkers.
They are Sergei Kirdyapkin, who won gold in the men’s 50km race at the 2012 London Olympics, and Valery Borchin who won men’s 20km gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Heffernan finished fourth at the London Olympics.
However RUSADA is claiming that the bans would only apply to events up to June 2012, potentially leaving the result of the Olympics unchanged, despite what would appear to be a tainted qualifying process.
All cases relate to irregularities in the athletes’ biological passports, which monitor blood values over time to look for evidence of doping.
It is not immediately clear why the Russian cases have taken over two years to process, with IAAF spokesperson Chris Turner telling AP only that "the nature of biological passport investigations" caused the delay.
The revelations mean that of the 17 gold medals won by Russian walkers at the Olympics and World Championships in the last decade, 16 were won by athletes who have been banned for doping at some stage of their careers or who are currently under investigation.