SOFIA: European indoor sprint champion Tezdzhan Naimova has been banned for life after testing positive for the banned steroid drostanolone, the Bulgarian athletics federation said yesterday.
Naimova, 26, tested positive at the European indoor championships in Gothenburg last March where she won the 60 metres final in a personal best time of 7.10 seconds.
She had already been banned for two years for tampering with her urine in an out-of-competition test in Sofia in 2009.
In a statement the Bulgarian federation said Naimova, who won two gold medals at the 2006 world junior championships in Beijing, would be stripped of her title and all her results between March and June would be annulled.
Ukrainian Mariya Ryemyen, who came second in Gothenburg, is the new champion with France’s Myriam Soumare taking the silver medal and Bulgarian Ivet Lalova the bronze.
Naimova, who was not immediately available for comment, can appeal to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Bulgarian athletics has been marred by a series of doping offences in recent years.
Charismatic Kenyan steeplechaser Ezekiel Kemboi has announced plans to retire after the 2016 Rio Olympics where he will aim at winning a third Olympic gold.
“I have represented Kenya for 13 consecutive years. I will finish my career in Rio in 2016,” he said at an awards ceremony at his home of Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley region.
As for his retirement plans, the two-time Olympic and triple world champion said he “will turn to play golf” -- drawing laughs from Kenya Olympic Committee chairman Kipchoge Keino. Golf makes a comeback as an Olympic discipline at the 2016 games.
The colourful 31-year-old athlete overcame young steeplechase pretender Conseslus Kipruto to win his third world title in Moscow last month.